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  CSPAN    U.S. Senate    News/Business.  

    September 6, 2012
    12:00 - 4:59pm EDT  

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sixties - what happened, how it shaped today, lessons for tomorrow," 2007, and finally "the time of our lives" what his latest book, came o at the beginning there really is about unions and for
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most northern, not all but most. and what i mean by that is that most of them enter were convinced that the united states has to survive. it has to survive to show the world that the representative governments can work. the kids in 1848 in a series of revolutions in europe as they see it a failed as the democratic revolution, and so they see the united states this is it, the world's last shot. it has to work your order will never be tried again. so the states think they can destroy the government which is how the unions see it because they don't like to get elected. they said self-government doesn't work, so we have to prove that the thing can survive and that's how they start. but you don't have to be in a very long before they begin to think why do they get into this to begin with? talk to this virus and slaves --
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southerners and slaves and they got into the problem to begin with because the institution of slavery. if you want to solve a problem, the only way to do it is to root out the cause. so union soldiers made a shift much earlier than i had anticipated. the big shift begins in the summer of 1861 with soldiers beginning to write home to their families and elected officials to say that if we want to win the war and we don't want to fight again in ten years, we need to get rid of the problem, we need to get rid of slavery where it is going to be right back at square one. next, booktv present "after words," an hourlong program where we invite guest hosts to interview authors. this week's as theologist eric klinenberg and his latest book, "going solo: the extraordinary
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rise and surprising appeal of living alone". mr. klineenberg analyzes the impact of the trend of business, politics and culture and predict significant social change for the country as a result. he talks with sociologist kim blankenship, director of american university's center on health, risk and society. >> host: how did you first get interested in this topic, and then how did you decide how to go about looking at it? >> guest: the first book i wrote was about a heat wave in chicago where more than 700 people died in just a few days, and one of the really disturbing things about that project as i learned that hundreds of people died alone, and they died alone because so many people in chicago were living alone and aging alone. and when that book was over, i realized that i have learned about something that i hadn't expected to find, and i had a lot more to learn petraeus of
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the research foundation reached out to me and asked me if i would be interested in pursuing the questions further. why were so many people aging alone and getting isolated. and i started looking at social isolation as a problem. but very quickly discovered that of the many people that are living alone today, only a small minority get isolated and while that is a serious social problem there's a whole other world to explore more than just a world. like him to consider the biggest demographic change since the baby boom for the first time in all human history we now live in a world where there are enormous numbers of people who are living alone and for long periods of time and as i started working on that i was off and running. >> host: so, i was telling friends of mine i was going to be interviewing you and asking about the book. as i was talking to them, i came to realize that i wasn't quite
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sure how we were defining living alone. how is that for example my sister is divorced and have the time she lives with her son and have the time she doesn't. she's saying in my living alone? >> for the purpose of this book, hopefully she can relate to the stories but she wouldn't statistical account. i didn't interview her, so the people like count as living alone are people who are just living alone, not with children. and i should give you a sense of the numbers because they are startling and i had no idea how common this is before i started the research. so today in the united states, the 32 million people living alone they account for one of every seven adults and 28% of all households combined just to give you a sense of how big this is. in 1950 only about 4 million americans were living alone and there were under 10% of all
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households, so it's been an incredible social change. in the 1950's, people were intended to live in western states. openness brawling areas like wyoming and montana. they are largely men and migrant workers who would move into more stable relationships. today the overwhelming majority of people living alone are in cities. atlanta and denver and minneapolis, seattle, san francisco, more than 40% of all households are one-person households, again, households without children. in washington, d.c., where we are right now, and manhattan, where i live, it is almost 50% of households. these are the enormous changes. when i first started the book, i thought this must be an american story. this is about a country that worships self-reliance and individualism, this is the legacy of carow and henderson
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but we'd laugh when it comes to living alone. it's much more common in european nations, especially in scandinavia. and it's even more common in japan >> so, thinking of the international dimension of that, i thought it was interesting that though you are saying that -- and he made the point in the book that living alone is occurring in other places, that the sort of context of living alone is different between those countries in some ways and i was struck by the northern european example and the societies are different. >> guest: absolutely. one of the things i learned is in order to have the freedom to choose to live alone, in order to be independent you need to be well-connected, you need to be strongly supported. it turns out people live alone
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not in places they can afford to but also in countries that have invested collectively and producing a kind of society that supports individualism and this is the surprise. what we think of the scandinavian country meeting of the socialist kind of policies, a big welfare states, the collective more than i think we typically do the individual. but it turns out that when you produce collective resources coming and that could be the social programs, but it could also be the booming cities as kind of collective resources that have lots of good things to offer people, you allow individuals to make choices about how they want to live. >> host: let me pick up on that in a little bit, but i want to ask about the diversity of experiences of living alone in the united states >> host: >> guest: there's not this one thing called living alone and the experience with it. in fact, the age groups that we should break out.
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when we think about living alone we think about all the people of the 65 and above, and today in the united states there are about 11 million older americans who are living alone they face the greatest risk of isolation and i started this project on the heat wave book about one of the surprising things i learned in the course of talking to so many people is that today unlike 75 years ago, older people prefer living alone to the other available options. they don't want to move back in with their children, they don't want to live with a sibling or friend and they want to avoid a nursing home. in the abstract they might prefer to have the strauss they don't know longer have which is for divorce or death, but in concrete terms they are opting to live alone and in many cases their sense of integrity, the
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sense that they are able to live the kind of life they want to live because they can take care of themselves depends on that capacity to live alone. it turns out the biggest group of people who live alone or middle-aged adults between the ages of 35 and 65. most of the time these are people that have lived with someone else before, generally they've been married before but we all know that divorce is quite common in the contemporary world and there are many people, 60 million people live alone in this age group, and many of them live alone because they've decided that in fact they are better off being on their own and being social than they are searching a relationship. they won't settle for the roane relationship and that is another change. they are not living the life that the expected but they are finding a way to make it work. then finally, the fastest growing group of people living alone are young adults under the age of 35 more than 5 million
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people living like that today we're 1950 there were 500,000 in proportional terms it went from 1% of people under 30 living will lead to more than 10% today >> host: there seems to be -- let's put aside the elderly group because that's the group bares class variation in that age range. for the middle class, for the younger girls and the middle-aged as you call them, those are by definition middle class. >> guest: i am clear about this in the beginning of the book is expensive to live alone. you have to pay for that privilege that's why you find it in more affluent nations and a very little of it in the impoverished nations of the world. the same is true when you come home to the united states. it's far more common among the affluent comes of the great majority of the interviews i did in the book are people that
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could afford to do that. that said, there is a subset of people that are living alone in a tough conditions. a very poor man, mostly men who tend to live in these dwellings that we still have in some cities and hotel residences, and they can be quite vulnerable, and for them it's often a way to defend themselves and protect themselves against the influences of people or places that got them into trouble and they spend a lot of time talking it's a clearly different experience. there are also people aging alone and who are vulnerable but we can talk about later. >> host: i was curious about this group. how did you decide to -- did you pick the sro or is that the only place that you could find poor, or marginalized clauses? >> guest: the place you could find them in the concentrated fashion. living alone is so uncommon in
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very impoverished neighborhoods, simply unaffordable. it would be hard to do it. and, you know, furthermore, i think these are places that still exist in american cities and don't really get the kind of attention that they deserve. their places of concentrated of vulnerability. i got to know them when i spent a lot of time and sro's. in this case i wanted to see what happened. interestingly i learned from spending time in places like this in new york that there are a lot of creative people in the world with architecture and design and urban planning who are thinking about what kind of physical designs could help us to live alone but also to be better connected with each other. some of them are working on the hotel residences but also the people that are working on middle class residences and for older people as well so the question for me is how might we think about this differently if we give up on a constant lament that this is a sign of social breakdown, the end of community, and instead accept the reality that in the united states, as in
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many countries in the world, living alone has become quite common, then start to ask what are things we can do to make a more collective experience? >> host: picking up there is the class dimension. talk about the gender because that is something else that on the one hand in the porter it seems to be if your book and the people that you interviewed are any indication there are not very many poor women living alone except perhaps the older age range. and you said in the middle class is more women than men. >> guest: of the 32 million americans living alone about 18 million are when and and 14 million are men. the driver of the difference is the fact that women are likely to outlive their spouses. they live longer than men.
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if you get to the older end of the distribution you have more women than men. the surprise for many people, myself included, is under the age of 45 men are actually much more likely to live alone than women so it's a mixed story. when it comes to class it's interesting. men who live alone on average are likely to earn more than women who live alone for the reasons that we expect. they tend to do better in the labour market. there's still some discrimination there. but interestingly, in recent years women that live alone have become far more likely to buy their own homes, the fastest-growing segment of the real-estate market. so there are some interesting things happening that can't simply be explained by economics. >> host: why do you think -- why were you mostly surprise to was a man living alone? >> guest: under the age of 45? well, you know, there's this conversation you have to spend time in this city by the single women are talking of how
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difficult it is to find a single man. it's as if they don't exist. it's possible that they exist but there are other reasons that make them difficult to pin down. for instance one of the issues that is fascinating for me about the gender division here is that the men we interview express very little concern about living alone and staying single as they got into the late 30's and early 40's even if they wanted to settle down they felt like they could do that eventually. if they wanted to have kids they felt they could do that eventually. and men who live today in this kind of highly individualized economy in which there's a lot of insecurity and instability, and in a great incentive to invest in yourself and build your career men are doing precisely this. they are putting off making commitments to other people while they invest in themselves. of the women of course it is a much more difficult situation. because they face the reality of the biological clock. and so, many women who live
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alone, through their twenties and early 30's and live alone as because it is an accomplishment, to live alone because it is a sign of distinction, live alone because they strongly prefer than living with roommates or a partner they don't really want to deal with. by the time they get into their middle thirties, and then through the early 40's that becomes a very difficult thing because they start to feel the ticking of the biological clock the hear it and pressure from the family is sort of purging them and the first question will be are you dating anybody? have you met somebody? because that is what defines them and that makes it much more difficult experience. >> this definitely the title of the surprising appeal of living alone there's a lot of variation and extent to which there is that appeal. >> guest: that's right. i want to be clear about something. my argument here is not that
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people in the abstract say what i want in life is to live alone. that's my goal. we generally do not find that. there are some people for the it is true. but i'm saying something else. first we live in a world where people cycle a man out of different situations. they live alone for some time and they tend to couple left, whether they get married or not command the most split up and are on their own again and find someone and live alone. we are in and out of this different conditions, and "going solo" is no longer just a passing stage. we spend our time doing. but there's another figure which i want to emphasize and that is if you are not living with a romantic partner, you still have other choices about how to live. you never would live in a place of iran until the 1950's or 60's that was such an unusual experience. you wouldn't have lived with families, possibly with friends with some group of some kind as
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a species we of 200,000 years of experience living collectively and about 50 or 60 years of experience living alone. some people who are doing this are opting for that instead of these other kind of collective arrangements and they are also paying the premium to do that. it costs more to live alone. >> one of the interesting things it seems for the middle class living alone is a sign of economic success, and also to some extent the type of jobs that people have and you emphasize that, too. the way that work basically makes, you know, maintaining a relationship at least professional work maintaining the relationship, children, challenging. >> guest: we have a colleague that wrote a book in which she essentially argues we live in the world that for many people home is work and work is home because a lot of the people i interviewed especially the young people with many of them
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middle-aged people are working in places where they have a lot of social ties. they have a chance to connect with friends. they do things outside of work with people they are working with. and when they go home, they live with others or when they live with others they felt they had a lot of obligations and commitments. so that idea is very much resonant. >> host: for the man in the sros come to some extent living alone is almost a sign of economic failure inability to make money or get jog, getting wrapped up in the criminal-justice system. >> guest: that's right we have another cecile the just who talks about the unmarriagable males who once had access to good solid jobs for durable and reliable who have increasingly found that they are not there
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anymore and have had all sorts of trouble. there is research that shows one group of people that are very likely to wind up living alone are successful african-american women who just lost the eligible marriage partners for economic reasons for so many african-american men have been dragged into the criminal justice system. that is a situation which we talk about it being a choice it's a constrained choice to live alone but all of our choices are strained and in this situation living alone is something that wouldn't have been possible long ago and it is now quite prevalent. >> host: i was going to ask about the african-american women because he said somewhere i think you said that you had over sampled for african-american women to try to get their experiences and then you didn't talk much about that.
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were their things that stood out about their experiences? >> guest: this is a situation people wonder whether there is a sign of things to come. if you think about the conversations that we have been having over the last year about the state of marriage and the rise of single women, the atlantic monthly had a cover story on the end of men which everybody was talking about for months and then another story on the rise of single women. this is a phenomenon that many people have grown concerned about with the tough economy, and the kind of declining levels of men in the university's and the difficulties in the labour market many critics are starting to worry that it will be hard to find the right partnerships between women and men and no group has experienced this more than african-american women so the thinking is we could learn something from their experience. >> host: and what did you learn?
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>> guest: this is a hard situation. in some ways it is very specific to the part of the population that suffers racial discrimination and relationships, african-american women are less likely to marry outside of their ethnic or racial groups than the people in other situations. so there is something that is less transferable. but, there are women who are looking for the right partner and finding it hard to find it and then saying i'm going to start my life. i am not going to wait about any longer for mr. right before i embrace my adulthood and there are people that are entering the housing market and buying their own places. that is something we see increasingly among women to say there can be life without mr. wright. they don't have to wait for mr. wright, and i think that is changing the way that we settle into our home. >> host: what about the issue
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of sexuality? you didn't really talk about that, but did that come up? i'm thinking there's a group, same-sex couples, gay and lesbian -- >> excluded from marriage. >> host: and at the minimum i would imagine that living alone is something different for them or even living together. so, you know, you have -- i have maybe from ten years ago or what ever lesbian friends who, you know, had to pretend if they were living with someone they pretended that they were roommates or whatever, and it kind of changed the nature of what living together was coming and they were sort of unable to live together in a romantic relationship. >> guest: clearly we are seeing a rise in marriage officially speaking and this is one of the major movements of the time. it's an incredible phenomenon. at the same time, i had a long discussion in my book about the fact that gay men and lesbian
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women were kind of the forerunners for this trend. they were the pioneers of the practice of living alone, and living alone isn't in the consolatory way, but in the connected way. going to the specific neighborhoods, and building the local the institutions that allowed people to live on their own and also to establish connections and to get the kind of support that we all need to live good lives. so, at the same time, that we see gay and lesbian clamoring for marriage which is an issue about equal rights and equal treatment, we also see a lot of gays and lesbians living on their own. they are not immune from the trends. they are absolutely part of it and in some ways they are drivers of it. one thing that is fascinating to me i spent some time in the book tracing the history of the rise of living alone, because it is a phenomena. you can see it in specific places like grumet village and many of the neighborhoods that
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we associate with whether it is in the village or lincoln in chicago or belt town in seattle or west hollywood are los angeles and the marina district and some friends as though there is a whole kind of urban culture that's built up around neighborhoods where people who are alone go to be together they have partners for the rest of their lives but there are places where being alone can be a collective experience. >> host: you talk about the social problem. is this a social problem and people sort of start with the idea that this is a social problem, people disconnected, and argue that that's not necessarily the case. it seems -- i think it is interesting to think about how -- and you make this point, too
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that this living arrangement that people choose and constrained among a set of choice constraints so to some extent choosing to live alone and some extent it's choosing not to live in the arrangements that are otherwise available to people and i just wondered you see it being more one thing than the other? >> guest: i don't know how we can answer the question of more one thing than the other. the reality that we live in the world in which a lot of things we took for granted in the family are now up for grabs and we are trying to experiment with ways of putting our lives together. it's not that marriage is over as an institution. more than 90% of americans will ultimately marry at least one time in their life. marriage is not over, but we move in and out of marriage and a way that is unusual.
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what is clear is that there is far less social pressure for people to get married and stay married and remarry over the course of their lives. it's far more acceptable to date is the single leader and after a divorce or to stay single land loan after your spouse dies of and it ever has been. i will give you one example that illustrates this. 1957 a group of psychologists at the university of michigan did surveys of americans' attitudes towards married and unmarried people, and they found that 80% of americans felt that people who wanted to be on married were either sick, a moral or neurotic today it is 49% according to the most recent studies. they would be absurd. so, our attitudes about relationships and marriage has changed tremendously.
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and i want to say something about the kind of all social problem of the framing and make it clear why i wrote this book the way that i did. we have a tendency and we have had it for a long time to like books that announce a social change and observe the social change and the next press a kind of nostalgia regret about how much we have lost so we constantly portray ourselves as a society that have lost our communities. we become disconnected from each other and we worry. we are lonely americans. we are a lonely crowd. this would have vocabulary has our way of thinking about who we are. but it seems to me that is precisely the wrong kind of language to use to document the social change because they are not the plater disconnected but people that are living alone in finding new ways to be connected with each other come searching for new ways to live, and i got
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extraordinarily interested in the ways in which we are adapting the social conditions and incredibly creative in fascinating ways so one of the remarkable things i learned in the context of doing this book is that it turns out that people live alone typically are not hunkering down at home compared to married couples people who live alone tend to go out more they spend more time with their neighbors from the spend more time with friends more time in public places where they are likely to encounter strangers to bid for time in bars and cafes and restaurants. it's married people, and i should say that i myself am married and i have two young kids i'm not making the case against any means this is not an advocacy. married people tend to hunker down and tended to be at home more. it seems like we get a better capacity to understand the social change many of us can relate to whether we live alone
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or there's no people in the fringe of the networks are families who do. better capacity to understand it if we think about it as a social change and experiment rather than a social problem that is a sign of decline. we have so much to do before we can say that. >> host: i really appreciate that positive optimistic that resonates with the experience of many of my friends, therefore. but then i have this other side of the, which the group by study i do hiv research and i study people and poor urban environments that have a long involvement in the criminal justice system or their partners have involved in the criminal justice system, and in that pricey the problem of basically so many social forces are
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pulling them apart and undermining the relationships are undermining the are seeking to establish intimacy and conditions that are constantly like separated and people going to jail, not going to jail. >> guest: as you sit in the book i spent special attention to this group which is unusual in the sense that they are the least likely to live alone, but the most likely to have those problems, and i think i would address it the way that you did which is to trace the ways in which these kind of personal problems in some ways are related to these are structural situations of problems of unemployment and being in the neighborhood of high crime and higher probability of contracting infectious disease. these are risks and they can undermine anyone's capacity to have relationships and have stable fulfiling bonds but this is not the population where
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congenital uzi the highest levels of living alone. that is something i want to emphasize. the point is -- you characterize the book as optimistic. and some people see it that way. interestingly some people see it the other way. for me what is fascinating about living alone is it is kind of a war shark test. we have our views of how the world is and how people should live in this topic. so if we are inclined to think about the social problems and about -- enjoy that disconnection we might find evidence of it here. if we are inclined to think of the new connections and different ways to live we might find evidence of it here. the truth is i try very hard in the book to avoid making the judgment as i said i'm not rendering a verdict out whether this is a good or bad way to live. that is not what i do or how to think about it. nor would it even matter if i did because no one would listen to me. i know how little my opinion about certain ways of feeding
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can matter. instead, it seems to me that this is such a profound social change. so many people are experiencing this new way of living and it makes sense for us to pause for a moment with our judgments and simply trying to understand it. so, try to chronicle the dangers of being isolated. what happens while living alone doesn't work out and there are stories here they're tough to read and many people that live alone have told me it's been difficult to read these things. they're glad the chance to read it and they got to read about things they feel but at the same time, there is a lot of accounts about how people put their lives together and an interesting ways, ways they never would have conceived of just a generation or two ago. so, really i think for me the challenge is to say here's this change that's happened that we actually haven't developed a name for. we haven't identified it. the phenomena of living alone is not something that is entered
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the general conversations on what has happened to the world. it seems to me that it's so prevalent we need to name it. we need to identify it and once we do, we can begin to have conversations that help us all understand who we are and what we are becoming today. >> host: i will put that aside for a few minutes. i do agree that there is not -- it doesn't come through the sense of judgment at all. there's definitely the kind of here are some different patterns going on and what we need ultimately is a set of social arrangements that allow whatever living arrangements people are in to be fulfilling and zero connected and also able to serve individually fulfill else was collectively fulfilling and so forth. but i wanted to talk about one of the things that was for me harder to read and i was
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wondering how it was for you this idea of beijing alone and two things struck me that you said. one was nobody ever says i'm worried about dying married. they say, you know, i'm worried about the dying alone that they don't say i'm worried about dying married. the the thing was this woman -- i can't remember her name now, but she was a public -- she tried to find the histories for the next of kin of people that have died, and i thought i was -- i never thought about somebody that did that. >> guest: it's a very powerful experience for doing it, and so, this is a story that actually i first did research on for this american life, that terrific radio program and i went to los angeles and told the story of what happened when someone dies alone and no one comes to claim the body or the estate and it turns out that when you have a society where there are lots of people aging alone, millions of
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people there would be some people that die and have no next of kin. it turns out to be this fascinating underworld where you need it the public investigator whose job is to search for the next of kin and go to the apartment and look for things the will give her a clue. she's kind of like a detective. the attorneys get involved because sometimes you of the states manage and some people don't have much money when they die alone but some do have money coming in this case, the woman had two dogs, we had to find a way to deal with the dogs, it's just this whole fascinating underworld. look, it was in some ways completely disturbing. the extent to which someone could get cut off but an incredible thing happened in the course of doing that story which is we walked outside and saw to neighbors. they stuffed the first one and said can you tell was about this
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woman who died? he said you know, maryann, she seemed like a very sad woman. she was always by herself, just her and her dogs. it's very sad. and then we walked 30 feet and there is another guy that says can you tell us something about mary ann? such a nice woman. it was lovely to have her around. she seemed to have such a good life. there were spots to her story that seemed to me to say more about them than they did about marion. we can never know when someone dies alone in today's world they die that way because they wanted to remove themselves from company. with a desperate for companionship? it's interesting we spoke to many women who are living alone now after having been married, and after having cared for a very sick or dying husband.
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universally the women said i love my husband and myself and wish he were here. my life would be better if we were together. but the experience of going through that was so difficult for me that i can't imagine getting remarried. i don't want to do that again maybe we will find another partner and live together but i don't want to share my home with someone again. but it's interesting we right ourselves and to these stories in some way. as to the first issue about the marriage and no one worrying something someone else said to me as someone in his 50s starting to project out work to the rest of his life he said no one ever worries about buying mary. i think what he was speaking to several things one of them is that marriage turns out not to be the solution to everyone's problem.
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that in fact many of the people i interviewed who had been divorced or separated said to me that occasionally they get lonely living by themselves but that nothing had ever been so lonely as living with the wrong person. a marriage gone awry is still loneliest experience that you could have. i thought there was a very powerful instinct, one that we could all relate to. >> host: that kind of makes the point that gets me back on the first question like what is living alone any way? >> guest: that is a great question and here again i think we need to make very careful distinctions we lived together living alone, being alone, the isolated and even be a lonely and i can show you countless books and newspaper articles and magazine articles, even careful social science studies that treat these things as if they are the same let's not do that. we model our thinking if we do.
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i want to make distinctions between living alone which just means you have your own place. you don't share it with another resident. and being alone which is about how you spend your time like being isolated having your contact or much contact with of the people and being lonely which is a subjective condition, and as i said, you can feel quite lonely when you are living with someone else. made you feel lonelier than you would have another such regions. so, these things can be related in some cases, but they are different things and we need to treat them that way. other than the numbers i gave you, the fact that one of two households or one-person households in washington, d.c. and manhattan or that in stockholm its 60% of households and paris, the city of lovers more than 50 reza of households or one-person households, this is just consensus data that
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shouldn't tell how lonely people are or whether they are isolated. that is another thing altogether >> host: going back to the aging alone in the dying alone, i thought that was the contrast between northern european and sweden countries and that u.s. kind of came out for me there. there are societies that makes living alone or dying alone or aging alone or whenever not as scary as it is in our society that take care of the aging population. >> guest: much of the book is in the united states and about american cities. isis and at the outset people live alone in the rural areas but i couldn't study them and so this is really about the cities. it's where it mostly happens. but towards the end of the book i start to spread out and go to other places and write about other places where living alone has become very covenant.
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european cities especially have invested more resources in developing places where people can maintain their domestic autonomy. people can live alone which is what people are opting to do. we have to face that fact. but also connected them with other people and collected goods to a commercial amenities and home services and health services and special transportation there is a lot you can do that we are not doing here. we have a problem in the united states we have a big server when kick and a lot of the middle class americans moved out to suburbia to raise their children and now the boomer generation is experiencing the fact that their children have moved away. they live in houses that are too big for them and they live in places they can't do much walking to get the kind of commercial stuff they need and
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they're living a life that is less integrated if they lived in a place where there could be these collectivities where you could have better public transportation where you could go shopping on the street if you get coffee down the street, block country restaurant on the street. have a smaller home that wasn't so expensive to heat and air-conditioning and maintain. face this problem now of retrofitting the cities and suburbs. we didn't for a living and yet that is what we need today. >> host: again, you know, it's harder for me to put aside in my own work and issues i think about modjeski the various things that are disrupting the communities and so, to what
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extent is this changing this group of people moving back into the city's and the more urban experience and that's having an impact on the communities that once lived there, the development of the urban areas moving some people out in order to accommodate this trend. >> guest: people have returned to the cities and say the net economic impact of living in cities has been mostly positive, enormous part of the market people spend about $20 trillion in the united states big market. they have more disposable income on average and they go out and spend money and all these places we've discussed so they're edible fuel to the economy and boosting the real-estate sector which would be even worse off than it is right now were it not for the demand coming from
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singles but at the same time they're part of the process that can be displaced who once called the neighborhood homeland said there's a kind of suburbanization of poverty in some ways the united states is moving closer to that european model where the center is a kind of urban playgrounds and the peripheral area has problems we've always thought of as urban problems so the things are changing absolutely. >> host: is it changing the -- one group of people was able to make connections and live alone and not be lonely and another group of people are being displaced in areas where they are far from jobs and communities or is it causing the opposite in a way that there is less and less of a difficult
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time connecting to people. >> guest: we don't yet know that. jobs have moved to the suburbs as well and there are issues that are there but i think that we are seeing these fascinating changes in the organizations of cities and suburbs and the time of real inequality. people who live in affluent bubbles of a wolf in which you hardly know the spike in poverty the country is up war and there are other people whose daily lives are immersed in that world, so i think that is something to attract. again i want to emphasize with the social change that i'm describing here this rise of living alone that we are so early in the experiment, such a new thing for us we're starting to get the sense of the ripple effect of this could be. in 2012 is an election year we are thinking a lot about
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politics half of americans now farcical and seems like this creates all sorts of opportunities for political parties who try to recharge their constituents in a different way in some ways the premise of the political party has been that people live in nuclear families. that they -- the republicans for instance have a lot to say about family values as one of the guiding ideas of their politics. that kind of language might alienate an enormous number of american voters if people are single was no money are especially if they're living alone that kind of language might feel like a put down to come and it seems to me the political party needs to start thinking about a different kind of language that family values doesn't have the same residence.
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a lot of the things that we do and say the weak volume are out of sync with the we know we live >> host: secure focusing sort of on the end point. and the end point mabey could potentially lead to other things the living alone. moving back to one of the things producing this that you talk about is work. again we talked about that a little bit before is the solution to say everybody is looking -- lots of people are alone now because jobs it's hard to maintain a job and maintain the relationship and do all these things. where is the place for someone to say why is it so hard to have relationships and have a
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professional career and why do the jobs interfere so much in people's lives and should we be thinking about how to make that more possible and accommodating the people that want to live on there are also thinking about the things that are pushing them into the situation? >> guest: i think we have a lot of things going on here. there is no doubt that we spent an enormous number of our waking lives working and people are unemployed, working a lot will be a luxury for them and they are not the people who are living alone. but we have changed the social policies in such an extent that now i think individuals experience this belief that they have to trust themselves and take care of themselves and invest in their own career and invest in developing themselves
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so that they can be flexible and they can go where the opportunities are. there's not a strong set of welfare programs promise lifetime of support. tiahrt free agent in this respect, and i think that kind of free agency culture puts a lot of pressure on us as individuals and pushes us to think about our own needs above the need of collectives, and that this kind of the scary part of this change. it's one reason for instance wife during the recession people don't just go and get married. a lot of people thought when the economic disaster hit people would start getting married and joined a couple of the demand to get rid. people don't want to make commitments to other people when they feel insecure of their own lives. marriage rates go down during tough times and we haven't seen the decline of living alone. there are more americans living alone in 2012 than there were in
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2008. so, in fact, there's a lot of pressure to kind of investing yourself as an individual in times like this and that is something that is worrisome. i don't know that anyone has a way of thinking about the solution to this problem. it seems to me the debate is not about how to reduce the number of hours that people are working but that seems like the kind of debate that we need to be having. >> host: it sounded interesting the idea that single people in the people living alone there are some ways they were discriminated against or maybe discrimination is too strong a word. but your social policies and so forth or to their disadvantage. >> guest: i spoke with a lot of professionals and the experienced discrimination on different levels.
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one thing is a familiar experience for many people watching. you work in an office where many people are married and have families and there's a lot of work today i would love to work but my son has a little league game and i promise my wife i would do this so the person exempt themselves because they have family obligations and many people who are single report that in the politics of the office there's a kind of premise that the single people were going to be available to do more work and they experience this as a kind of discrimination if they would like to have time for themselves as well. it could be worse still. people talk to said they literally were denied bonuses or were given a lower bonus than colleagues during the same work or even less work because the manager of the company thought that person doesn't really need the money. he or she -- the live alone and they seem like they are living a pretty good life, so these kind
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of thing center into the world we live although much of the stigma about living alone is disappeared. another thing people reported from cities like manhattan or new york city where there are co-ops they cannot get past a co-op board as a single person and they are looking for families and those are all tough things. we've come a long way since the 1950's, but we probably have more to go. the numbers suggest maybe this isn't going to last forever. have americans are cynical, a big proportion live alone and this suggests our ideas will come around. for instance there are now organizations that are working hard to try to organize singles as a political bloc. we have; interests we could have
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more effective we did this. a democratic political strategist named pace gardner started an organization in d.c. specifically to try to get on married women to the voting booth because she recognized that in the 2000 election, as narrow as it was, there were 20 million symbol women who were eligible to vote and didn't vote. they probably leaned democrat. and if the democratic party could reach out and appealed to them, they could do well. so in the 2008 election, she was working hard to try to make the single women the more nascar dads or soccer mom seemed in 2012 and think we will see even more of that. it's difficult to organize this ingalls because they don't always identify that we that maybe things are starting to change. >> host: where do you plan on taking this? you are moving away from the sand into some -- >> guest: that's a good question that it's hard to say. when i finished the book i thought all will never touch that topic again. who wants to think about being
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alone and living alone. again when i stop and step back and look at this social change it is too big to ignore. some people ask me why are you interested in this topic? you have two kids. it seems like a strange thing. shouldn't you study that what you live in citing? i simply can't think of many things that are as new and significant and massive as the rise of living alone in the contemporary world. literally this is something that our species didn't do until 50 or 60 years ago and we are developing ways to do it now not just in the united states or in the west but also as i said in japan. three of the nations that have the highest increase of living alone are china, india and brazil, places that have economic development in growth. what we are seeing is people
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living alone whenever and wherever they can afford to do it and it is not what we would expect. that's why i call that the surprise in the appeal of living alone. we expect that marriage will breed security or, sorry, economic growth and affluence will breed security and that would lead to marriage. something different. we are finding people are opting to be alone and not to be antisocial but to be connected in new ways. there's a lot more to study. >> host: to me one thing about the study would be different is there are more with what is happening in the upper class. >> guest: let's be very clear about this. people will say that in the abstract they would like to be in a relationship. they would like to be in the right relationship. what has changed now as we are much less likely to settle for a relationship that doesn't feel like the right one. when i say we are often to live alone, there are always other
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cheaper possibilities. there are always cheaper options. living alone is expensive. there are roommates, parents, families, nursing homes, a single room occupancies, many different kinds of living that are different from having their own apartment. and what we are seeing are people who have different choices making this choice. >> host: i've really enjoyed having this opportunity to talk to you about the book. it's really made me think about a lot of different things. thank you. >> guest: i enjoyed the conversation.
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..
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unlikely rise of vladmir putin. it's about an hour. >> thank you for the amazing introduction. i have to stand on a little box to reach this. i'm going to read from the book which i was actually incredibly lucky to have been able to put in the book at the last minute. because otherwise it would have been outdated the moment it came out. it was a little different in
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tone, more personal than the rest of the book. but i liked it, and i'm going read from it. >> a week in december. saturday december 3rd. i'm driving my family to see american cod me at an shopping mall in moscow. snow it late this year and the city feels like it's been plunged in to darkness. does little to change the feeling. but i am struck by a giant eliminated structure. one might call it a poster or billboard. my description to the scale of the thing. it it sits atop a two-story building and it appears taller than the building. it is back lit and eliminated
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around the edges. one wearing a red tie and one a blue. united russia, together. tomorrow is the apartment tear election. that makes today by law, a day of silence, meaning any and all campaigning is banned outdoor advertising included. i pull over at the introduction take a picture with my cell phone and upload it to facebook. within an hour the picture collects 17 commend. no world record but more reaction i expected. even more surprising are not my usually gangs. you think we have seen worst. it makes you want to throw up writes a former political reporter. i have not voted for more than a dozen years because putin's laws rendered elections meaningless.
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political parties could not get on the ballot without the government's approval. members really no longer directerly. a couple of months ago a group of well known writers, artists called on people to write an obscenity i criticized why the of a a losing tactic. what we need is what a meaningful alternative to the mockery. perhaps a reason to vote. i few people chimed to make sure that the party of crooks and thieves which is how the party is known did not vote in your name. second to vote for one of the quasi oppositions party on the ballot so putin's did not win in parking parliament. having wrifn the dissertation on
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elections my girlfriend is a voter. he woke up the other day and i asked did i dream it or you're going vote? why she asked. i can't explainty said. i feel something is afoot. i said this because over the last few years, i had several discussions with my friends who are also going vote. we are been trying to do vote for. and thousand of people including a number of my friends have registered as volunteer serves on the own or part of a group. organized by prominent political scientists who happened or it my girlfriend's father. they will be spending tomorrow at the polls to -- people are discussing the picture of putin as if all at once they really cared. sunday december 4th. i go spholts a half hour before they close, as they told me to do so i can catch the election thieves red handed if they have used my name to vote. no.
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neither i near the 91-year-old grandma has voted. nor do i observe any other violations. i cast my vote photograph it, post it to facebook as a potential aid of exposing people and go the former colleague's 40th bitter day party. book publicly people, journalist, and designers and one manufacturer. my friend one of the people who knows everyone. everyone is talking about the election. 30 something come in declaring i vote forked the first time in my life. it gets redirectble anyone who reaches legal majority will utter the phrase witness minutes of walking through the door. young peed were paid to hide prepared ballots under the clothing. election officials removed observes once the counting
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began. tomorrow we will find out that many forced their final tally with no regard for the actual vote. none of this is news to us. but what is new is the fact we're talking about it in a party and we all voted. and something else too. the election sobers tell us that the observers including a schoolteacher who arrived in a range rover and other people not like us. something has shifted and not only for the media junkies are glued to the facebook pages. what do you think it'll take to get people to the smart? a smart young reporter asked those gathered in the kitchen? i'm not sure i say. i feel like something in the air. monday december 5th. driving the kids to school i listens to reports on the radio. russia has just under 50% of the vote. i know, this is not an accurate figure, it is considerably lower
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than the similar falsified results of the previous election when the united nations russia got 66%. perhaps this is sometime the true numbers are so low that some local election officials felt they could take on so far. as i would also find out later today some precincts resisted all together the pressure. citizens observers 500 election observers at 170 precincts in moscow so no major violences. when the results from the precincts were stalllied. united russia came in second trailing the communist party. the election of precincts was representativive it would appear it more than doubled the real count. far more than any other recent russian election. protest is planned for tonight and i plan to go. i do not want to [inaudible] dangerous or both. the way it works now, anyone
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plans to stage any kind of public rally or demonstration has to notify the authorities ten to fifteen days in advance. the city can deny it or limit it to a specific number of protesters. it goes on anyway they are likely to be arrested. if permission is granted, the police set up marking off the number for expected participates and metal detectors. protesters have to undergo a search procedure and hold their rally behind the police. quite lirmly talking to themselves. i dislike the legal gathering but i feel i must go. this is one of the times. my son instant messages with me with a quote from "the new york times" article on the russia election. they [inaudible] democracy is an action standing with putin where both of you
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have been shake. she adds, if it wasn't so sad, it would be funny. yeah, i respond something is afoot. it isn't going anywhere. get protest. it's unseasonally warm for moscow. it's cold and miserable. temperature around freezing and pouring rain. who is going brave the weather to fight? everyone. it at least everyone i know. i approach the part with the protest is slated to take place with two friends. as we walk peach attach us to ourself. two of the former reporters, the one who took turns calling from the theater siege. one of them is now a radical art giew and spent a fair amount of time. he quit the editorial job. he had been instructed to exclude the critical articles from the foreign media coverage of russia.
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as we draw closer we can't make out the metal detector. words spreads it filled up. the police will not be letting any more people. there are 500 people in the park, that is huge by the moscow standards. we walk acin the street along the park looking in over a fence. there are not hundreds but thousand of people in the park. we find ourselves in a informal following. parked along the street are buses that brought the police here they are using prisoner transcript vehicles. we are blocking traffic, they will detain us. they lock on indefinitely as a dozen of us climb over the fence. the rain keeps coming. my hair is soaked and my feet feel like they're going to fall off. i'm happy to be standing there freezing and saying hello to friends. there comes fry friend the photographer with whom i traveled the war zones in the 1990. there arriving separately is the
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son, a college sophomore born a year after the soviet union collapsed and my editor from fifteen years ago. remember how we used to count the number by mentally breaking the crowd in quality rants? i can't do it anymore. yabtd remember the technique or ting wish anything. i'm certain there are more than 5,000 people. estimates range up to 10,000 it. makes the the largest protest in russia. i invite the group to my apartment which is down the block. the women accept their invitation, the men are going to join a march for the central committee. it is illegal and i feel they will be arrested. indeed, there will be about 300 irs as and in will violence. there will be something else too. in about an hour when people are in any apartment, they will tweet that they are pulled the two younger brothers out the
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prison trance port vehicle. in another six young men were at my apartment disheveled embellishing the story of the prisoner rescue. i think i have seen it before. this is the moment that fear res someone enters a prisoner transport vehicle to get the brothers. it's a tiny moment of great change when the police let him. the young men eat and recount to the police precinct. the less fortunate friends are being held there. i'm going fast forward a couple of days to monday to the following saturday. saturday december 10th. driving in from where the children be with the protest. i listen to the radio and fret. so what if 35,000 have stated on facebook they're going the protest? i have heard of people getting
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700 facebook rscp for a party and no gusts will show. people are feeling lazy. they want to sleep if and figure someone else will go the protest. as i get closer to where i'm going i see people threing it to from every direction. groups, young, old, middle analled. people are wearing everything white everything. it's not snow. the white they wear and carry has to compensate. i meet up with a group of friends and two of his brothers. at the metal detectors police are polite. inside the square, scanning for familiar faces. at monday's protest i knew they were there. i knew they were here because i cannot see them in the crowd. even texting becomes impossible as it grows.
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homemade banners people have brought. one features a gray reported by the central election committee. it shows what normal distribution of support for the u.n. rougesha would look like. we don't trust you. -- the matt imagination. i did not vote for the these guys. i voted if are the other guys. [laughter] i demand a recount. [laughter] there's so many people here a young man shouts shouts in the cell phone and they're all normal. identify heard a million jokes. they were all funny. if you have spent years feeling as if your views were shared by only a few of your closest friends, being surrounded by these people hearing the gongs at all once. somewhere in the distance there's a stage. i cannot see it and hardly hear any of the speakers.
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one of my friends remembers a trip from earlier people bring portable radios to rallies. she turns on the radio and the cell phone. and gives us the highlight of speeches. we look around and join in chants. new elections, freedom, russia without putin. the speaker include multiple people one which was a best selling writer. he made from the south of france. one blacklisted television anchor and activist. his father speaks about election fraud. none of his -- [inaudible] they have not gotten the message that power has shifted away. [inaudible] an anticorruption blogger is in jail. they read the address to the protesters. the billionaire who suspended the political career is silent. on monday he will announce he's running for president.
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by then it will be too late to. he will be branded and put away. i'm wearing they are man underwear, two jackets, there's no way to address for standing still in the russian winter. after of couple of hours we decide to leave. other people are arriving still. walking away from the protest i stop on a pedestrian bridge to lock back at the crowd. there are more than 35,000 there. later estimates will range as high as 150,000. we take large table at the restaurant at eateries in the neighborhoods is filled with protesters in an attempt to warm up. friends and strangers are shouting the latest news. they are the first to read a radio station website. the protest is drawing to a close. the police have dismounted the stage. he says, today we acted like the police of a democratic country. thank you. there's applause. at our table, there's a momentary silence. this is great, all of us start
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saying and looking at one another. this is great! how long has it been since we were able to see this is great? about something happening in our city. i leave my friends at the restaurant to return to my family. i drive over the big stone bridge, the largest bridge over the mouse cow river just as the police leave the square. there are hundreds upon hundreds of them. four and five across the length of the bridge. for the first time that i can remember, i do not get a not in my tom mack while i look at police in riot gear. i'm stuck behind an orange truck. i'm not sure what the struck is doing in the street, it's not snowing. i noticed a white balloon. protest were held today in 99 cities in russia and in front of embassies in more than 40 cities around the world. in the evening putin's press secretary told journalist that the government has no comment on protest and promises to let them
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know if the comment is formulated. if a few minutes later, the television taken away ten years ago there's an excellent report on the protest. i watch it online, it's been years since i had a working television in the house. i recognize something i have observed in other countries. there comes a day when you turn on the television and the very goons who are sprouting propaganda sitting at you today, sitting in sitting in the staid owes speak a language. this one gives my head an extra spin. i can remember them before they became one of us. by morning the country side will be covered in wit. white. it's snowing now. [applause] [applause] thank you. [applause]
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>> thank you. >> today is march 10th looks to be a major rally. do you speak about some of the anticipation regardings that? >> i wish i were there. that's my strongest -- [inaudible] i'm worried because what putin clearly things is that the election on march 4th was his final word in argument with the protesters, so he expects -- first of all he expects the protest to sizzle. if it doesn't fizzle he expects the police to break up the demonstrations. even though the demonstrations on march 10th is legal.
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but there was illegal demonstration in moscow on march 5th was broken up. so that's part of my concern. the other part of my concern, i'm worried that some people have been demoralized by the election on sunday. we didn't expect any better. but it's still depressing. >> okay. the questions from the audience? okay. we'll come back around again. i i have a bundle of them myself. i wonder if you could talk a little bit too about are the making of this book, and actually the timing of it, because indeed you've been working on this for awhile. you haven't completely anticipated that you would be segueing so simply and elegantly
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with the timing of an election. >> well, actually, the book publication was planned for the election, we didn't realize there was going to be an eventful election. i assumed that putin would run for president again this year. this wasn't clear when the book was being scheduled. so that assumption proved correct. but i did not count in the protest. >> okay. again, all right. one thing i meant to ask you before, and this is a little slightly off topic. but i wonder if you could care to comment about this cultural organization we've encountered around here? would you want to talk about that? >> i'd like to set that aside. >> thank you. >> all right.
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if you could stand and we'll bring a microphone to you. >> [inaudible] >> i just read a book about the russian revolution. it appeared that the boll show vicks that was a so siled fying the force. the czar was the enemy. there was that political force. go -- do joe see the possibility of some political force coalescing in russia would indeed change the situation where it would become a democratic country? >> it's a little yearly -- early to talk about a political force. we don't have a political space in which for the force could exist. what is happened over the last twelve years is that all democratic institutions have been destroyed. the media has been taken over by the state, there has been no
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public conversation. as a result there are no politicians. what we need is that transitional government for at least a year or two after putin leaves and before real elections can actually take place. now that was needed in 1917, as well. that didn't end so well. the transitional period began in february. but by october it 0 occurred. i'm hoping we'll be luckier. >> a question here and then another slightly in the back. >> what's the relationship between a police and the fsb and the point of my question is how far do you think the police will go in going forward in quelling protest? >> well, the police are two independent agencies. they the fsb unlike the soviet
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kgb does not have an sizable armed force of the own. putin will have to rely on the police and the interior troops, which are part of the same ministry separate agency from the police in order to quell the demonstration. he doesn't trust the police in moscow in saint peter berg. they have given indication they cooperate with the protesters. troops were brought in to control moscow. we need the interior troops on our aid as well. >> and followup question, are you worried about your own safety when you go back? >> i worry sometimes. i don't want to overstate it because there are people and people i know who have actually been really attacked, and threatened in the last couple of years. i'm not one of them.
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>> [inaudible] please. [inaudible] >> do you think the protesters might turn violent at one point and what are the protest speaking in front of them threatened to take the, you know, we have enough people to take a, you know, . >> the rhetoric has a away of getting away from him. and i think it was very clear he didn't -- he couldn't believe he was saying what he was saying. and remorseful afterward. it there's always that -- risk and one thing that happened is
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the movement has been radicalized significantly in just sin the beginning three months ago. three months ago, people came out for elections, and there was very clear during that first large area they described happened on december 10, there were a lot more people that were willing to chant along with re-election or new elections than people willing to achant along with putin. then putin made his remarking that protesters [inaudible] remind of him [inaudible] you could feel the mood change. you could -- and at the next protest on december 24, there were just as many people who were willing to shout at putin as there were people coming out for fair elections. that process of radicalization is continuing and the brazen way in which the election was on
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march 4th has contributed to that. and even though i'm in the philosophy of the movement has been consistently peaceful and that's all we ever talked about. i worry that i made the underestimating the radical potential among the very many young people who have involved in the movement who has started running out of patience. >> okay. >> what go the protesters expect of the united states government? the obama administration has a poor track record had with it comes to providing support protest movements in other countries. so what could they possibly expect from the u.s. government today? >> nothing.
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actually, -- putin has accused the protest movement of being funded by the state department. which is not true. the protest movement is funded completely deskly and i've covered protest movement that were funded by the state department. this is not one of them. and at this point, it's extremely important for the protest movement credibility to be perceived as domestically grown and funded. in fact, i don't see that with need the united states government to do or say anything in the foreseeable future. >> i noticed your use of social media in your -- when you talk about the that. has that changed how communications between groups are going, and is that limited
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to the cities because that's where most of the wi-fi might be? have you been disappointed or pleased with how news media across the world has reacted to the russian citizens meetings and has that been a true an accurate representation in your view? >> social media -- first of all, the city's question. russia is an urban country. so russia limited to the cities statistically russia is 0eu percent urban. but in fact the rule population is so dispersed and so, for the most part, either in a drunken stupor as to unfortunately be almost nej lability.
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mostly people where there's broadband internet at this point. social media is important as a tool. but i don't -- i think, you know, there's a sort of romantic notion that social media creates something where there wasn't before. it helps people connect if they are already connecting. it helps more make the questionses more effective and efficient. it can't create connections where they didn't exist before. and one of russia's problem with the direction, this is somatic destruction of public place that occurred. it's the connection that is lacking and information hasn't been flowing. so people have wanted apparently to breakthrough those information barriers. that's where social media can come in handy. again, the second question was -- right, the news media around
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the world. they have -- i've been happy that the protest movement has been covered widely, and it's been taken seriously. which i think is largely sort of consequence of the recent example in arab spring were protest movements were dynamic and successful. but i think a lot of the reporting has been lazy and has trafficked and stereo types that have no relationship to reality and the most directive is the middle class revolution. which is actually a stereotype advised -- but is then right hand man they said this is a protest of urban identities. and the fact it's not of urban its until you count the fact that all of us are urbaseball. it's a broad-based movement and
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surveys have shown that it involves people of all income levels, all education level, people of a working age all over the place, and there's also the stereotype that the protest movement is limited to the two capitals which is not at all true. as i said, there was a protest in 99 russian cities in december, that number went down a couple best friend february. they stopped getting permitses. they did things like stage protests. i don't know if you saw pictures, but they -- people put out their toys and placed little tinny banners in their toy arms and plant'ed thm on the lawn in front of the city city hall. that denied them permission to protest. the city has banned toy protests.
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[laughter] there's also the example of a town like the town -- when i say 99 cities, right, russia has very few large cities. there are only about a dozen large cities. the rest are small towns. there are places like a small town outside of moscow population 145,000. back water town. moscow sucks out everything. from the town, 120 people came out to protest. and in a town like that, these people expect to be personally known by the people who pass them on street inspect is either extreme courage or extreme confidence that the sentiment is shared by the people around them. >> we believe there's a question -- come around? gentleman here. >> you might have answered this. i was going to ask you could
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speak about the people of the interior the one willing to be bussed in to show support for putin and the wasn'ts who don't join the protest. what is their mood or motivation? >> what is that . >> their mood or motivation? what do they want? >> well, that's actually a great big potential army of protesters because these are mostly people who have been forced to take part in the putin rallies. they are state employees or they are students -- college students at state universities, and they have been threatened with expulsion or firing for they don't take part. so reports from the rally putin
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victory really rally outside the red square in moscow in sunday. they were at one point trying to breakthrough to get out of the rally, and at one point they did breakthrough a a large group of them headed for the subway to leave. so i think the general mood is they've been hue humiliated and forced to something again their will, and this is extremely short sighted strategy like most strategies. >> back here. >> hi, i have two questions. one about russian [inaudible] based on your knowledge and experience, what do you think in the current circumstance how foreign is able to to become an independent politician, what is
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your feeling about -- [inaudible] this one question and the other country might be even more difficult how putin's power may last in the country? >> no . >> twelve years. to twenty five? >> a to months to a couple of years. not more, i think. but they are interesting. here is an example of russian superrich who have been each much whom has been personally humiliated by putin. he is a good example of that. he was asked to get in to politics last year. he was asked by kremlin to take over the right liberal party. this is a standard criminal practice to get some parties
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together for puppet election, and then sort of let them lie door mat for awhile and breathe new life in time for the next election. he was handed one of the parties called the right deal. and he got serious about it quickly. he is a guy who actually has a lot of trouble doing something half way. he started doing it all the way. he was looking -- he was holding policy meetings every weekend. he was calling on local leaders to join the party. he was warn bid the government it was more activity than i expected of him. didn't listen, and showed up for the own party congress in september only to find himself locked out. the party had -- they handed him a party and taken it back.
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so he organized a parallel party congress of his party, and he gave a passionate speech saying that he would fight this, he would fight the kremlin puppeteers. he would go all the way. he promise the to come back in ten days with a specific plan for the fight. he completely disappeared from public eye for two months. during the period, we have to assume he was threatened sufficiently to do something that is either hue maillating for any public figure or somebody who is used to have his his way and be forced to disappear must have been extremely humiliation. then when he apparently demonstrated he had fallen back in to line, he was yanked out again and told to run for president. he has run a very subdued
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campaign for president. what's interest, is despite the fact it has been anything but the vigorous campaign independent poles show he came in second to putin. i think he feels that he has real potential to take putin on. he is testing the waters. on sunday might, he conceded very quickly. on monday he said that the election hadn't been fair. and on monday night he spoke at the demonstration. he keeps going like this, he may -- if he feels he can without extreme risk to his own life, and to his fortunate, keep going like this, i think he has great potential and he clearly wants to. >> was there a question over here? yeah.
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>> would you comment on a relationship between the kremlin in the u.k. as well as several of the other people who seem to have escaped escaped with many millions of dollars and seem to have no problem moving over to the u.k. government or the russian government? >> right. they are an are another interesting case in point. he is putin crony who accumulated extreme wealth during the early putin years. clearly it not feel safekeeping that money in russia, or even keeping himself in russia. despite his apparently happy relationship with the kremlin, took his money and moved to london where he's been living for the last nine years. he of recently in court with his former business partner who is suing him for billions of
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dollars alleging that he with the kremlins help force him to sell him his assets for below market value. and his testimony in court has really been his only public statement ever. hey another one of those guys who don't like to have a face. and of it incredible. he confirmed everything that we've ever heard about kremlin corruption. it was clear that he assumed that his add yen both in the courtroom and as he cleared knew in russia were people were following the trial closely. but his audience was prepared to
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hear how corrupt the putin system was. it's clear that he's 0 probably not going to be going back to moscow any time soon after having made the statements. >> there's a question. yes? right here. >> i mentored you, i think last night on charlie rose you talk about how big being a journalist in moscow is not only dangerous but frustrating and what it's like to proceed in the absence of the freedom of information act. something journalists take for granted or at least to a degree take for granted. i wonder if you could comment how it was tackled the story at book length knowing what the obstacles would be to research this or shaped way you tack told as a writer. >> it's a trap because what the system that i'm trying to describe is a closed system that doesn't information escape.
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it's a difficult system to describe. so ultimately -- i did a lot of interviews, and lot of reporting for are the book, obviously, but i don't think it's the most valuable part of the book. i think the counselor of new information are of interest to some russia geeks, but -- but what i think what was a more important thing to do was take information that had been out of there in a form or another. some had published in russia. some hasn't been published but was available in russian. and had hasn't been systematically analyzed. the story hand been told. that's what i try do. i take information that demanded to be organized and interpret it and try to organize it and interpret it in as many ways as possible.
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that's actually part of my regular work as a journalist in moscow. i sort of made this accidental discovery last year that what was most successful among my readers were long detailed stories of crurption stories they were familiar with because it's like -- when we were talking earlier today don made this wonderful comparison to make out shapes in a fog. and you sort of know what's happening to you, you have the general idea this is. hag. and somebody lay it is out and says, okay, this is how it's done. this the structure, that's is the key of thing. this money goes there and this and that. and it all falls in to place.
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and it works because it anumbers your general impression of what's going around you and it also helps you articulate what's happening. >> thank you. do you have a question over here by the post? >> thank you. actually two questions. first, can you follow up a little bit on why you think putin's sometime limited to two years, and second, what structure change do you think need to be made to the russian political system to prent another re0 current of where he's at or where the country is now? >> what structure changes what? >> need to be -- what structure changes to the political system in russia would prevent russia from being in a similar position in another five years or ten years? >> the reason that i think that pew stein not going to be able
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to hold on to hour much longer is that sort of the other side of what -- the flip side what he has done to russia by destroying the democratic institutions, he was depriving his own regime of any sort of legitimatey and the fear of the corporation of the population. he's not accountable to the voters. the voters are not obligated to consider them a legitimate leader. they didn't vote for those arizona holes they voted for the other as, holes. when a system begins to deconsistent grate it happens fast. people lose their fear and people stop cooperating in the daily work that perpetuating the work the existence of the regime. a journalism details stop
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reported stories in way they are expected to do it. the police don't follow orders they don't think they should be followed. that's already started happening. you know, local bureaucrats don't do their part for the large curption machine. and also starts to dissent grate which is i think is going happen in russia. now when needs to be done is democratic structures need to be restored. putin has -- over the course of his eight years during the first presidential terms in russia, completely detonated institutions and verymatically step by step destroyed them. in the first year of the presidency, he also basically enabled the executive branch to
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take over the judicial. there's no independent judiciary. they need to have been taken over by the state. all of that needs to be restored, rebuilt, built from avalanche. is there a guarantee that those structures will be able to be destroyed again? >> no. but the reason that he was able to do it because he had complete the full cooperation of the russian population for a long time. maybe this time we'll be wiser and we will not cooperate with another dictator. >> okay. >> we'll have time for a couple of more questions up here. one here and one here. >> what's the meaning of the button you're wearing? >> it says we will come again.
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and it's a white ribbon in the form of a sign meaning it makes reference to the voting inspect is one of the popular chance of the protest "we will come again and there will be more of us." it sounds better in russian. [laughter] we try to bring up as many of the buttons as possible. we have the hope that -- there's always the counting problem. so i this idea that we would print up hundreds of thousands ever buttons we would hand them out one per at protest. we would know how many buttons we got rid of. but the capacity in moscow to carry out the project. but handed about 20,000 of them. and also we wanted people to
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leave the protest with something that they could then wear to show they had been there to signal to other people, and to feel like participants. that's why it says we will come again. had is the sort of thing you can wear from protest to protest. >> okay. yep. the last few years, rush has done well in terms of the cost of energy throughout the world, and we know that the cronies, hockey players and women tennis players are doing fine. how is the general population doing? >> yes, statistically the
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country as a whole has been a great deal through the -- [inaudible] and i think that's part of what accounts for the long time that putin went uj challenged. it's hand to talk about how bad things are when thicks are good. very good in people's standard of living changed exponentially in the early 2000s. people were able to afford completely new lifestyle restaurant in moscow were opening up dozen a week. good food, good wine, all of that has a way of making life sweeter. at the same time, ruch has has not mitigatedded any of the main disadvantages of sudden extreme wealthy especially when it's related to the natural
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resources. it is too strong for most people to live comfortably. everything is so -- expensive. everything is imported. there's no point in manufacturing anything many russia, so that is part of what accounts for the extremely high prices of living. people have been -- everyone but the super rich have been out of moscow real estate. exactly. except that imagine that most of the country -- or works in manhattan that has to commute. the explosion in the number of private cars has been a disaster. it's not unusual for people to spend two, three, four hours a
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day driving cars. so the they indicate keep up. and of course the gas between the super rich and the rest of us is huge, and it's -- [inaudible] moscow has the highest number of mercedes s classes in the world. and not are you sitting in traffic, in your little trash can of a car. you correct also -- you are also seeing all of the mercedes with flashing blue lights that can be had for a lot of money pass you by as they do their rich business. >> okay. i think we'll -- is there anything else? i think we'll have the last questioner here. >> thank you. i'm curious about -- i noticed protest movement in libya,
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egypt, or, you know, northern africa or here occupy wall street, do you have -- they seem to spring up and they kind of get -- they kind of disappear or get kind of coopted by the egypt case the military, in libya, i'm not sure, in tunisia i'm not sure what happened there. occupy wall street evaporates. why should you have a progressive political party to aspire to. is there a traditional political party that the protesters would consider joining, and or is it a kind of a vacuum at that level? >> there's a vacuum at that level because there why no political parties because of the party system has been destroyed. in a sense that offers something of an advantage over, you know, say occupy wall street because
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there's no structures to coo opt the protest movement. it wasn't be swallowed up by political party because those parties don't exist. yms obviously the danger of fizzles is there, and i'm scared of it. but the danger of -- not so much. >> okay. thank you. we wish you all good things. >> thank you. >> thank you all for womaning. -- coming. [applause] what we can do out in the lobby we will have books available. thank you, again. [applause] all this this evening massachusetts senator and 2004 presidential nominee john
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kerry. vice president joe biden and the accept tense address by president obama. watch every minute on c-span. here on c-span2 it's booktv all day every day throughout the convention with highlights of non-fiction authors and books from the past year. and on c-span 3 also throughout the convention, 24 hours of american history tv with lectures lectures with oral history and a look at historical american sites and arty -- arty facts we talk to georgetown university history professor on the recent bock about the civil war. >> at beginning the war is about union for most northerners not all. but most. what, i mean, by that most of them where the war convinced that the united states has to survive. it has to survive so show the world that representatives and government can work.
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in 1848 a serious series of revolutions as they see it failed. they were failed democratic revolution and so as they see the united states, this is it. this is the world last shot. self-government works here or it won't be tried again. if the states think they can destroy the government which is how union soldiers see it. they didn't like who got elected. we said self-government doesn't have to work. we have to prove it survives. that's how they start. they don't have to be in the south very long before they begin to think, why did we get in to this to begin we? nay talked to southerners and slaves. they are struck by how we got in problem to begin with because of the institution of slavery. the if you want to solve a problem the only way do is root a cause. they made a shift earlier than i had anticipated, the big shift begins in the summer of 1861
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with soldiers beginning to write home to the family but also to elected officials to say if we want to win the war and don't want to fight it again in ten years, we need get rid of the problem and slavery. it's going to be right backed at square one. watch our entire interview with her as he discusses her book "what this cruel war was over." tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span2. >> what are you reading this summer? booktv wants to know. >> well, i am having an ambitious summer for reading. in between the stuff i have to read. i'm interested in reading "barack obama "barack obama: the story"" where he started it stories in before he gets in to politics. it's a really insight in to
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[inaudible] and the conditions that really will lead him to be who he is. people are invited by the religious and politics. thing is probably an updated form. and i think it's really it was recommended to me by someone who said you have to have more than just a talk about the -- get some insight in to the kind of fear and apprehension and concerns people have. i'm all done with "drift" it takes a technical subject and makes it really fun and historical. and i'm enjoying that. .. moderator
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eduardo bocanegra. let me you this question to start off. i know, you mentioned your name several times throughout the book. what would you like to be called? >> duane is fine. >> it's nice to enter view something like you. i read your book.
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there's a ton of stories in there about your life and the way you arctic late and the way you describe some of the scene what you went through. and i guess one of the questions i wanted to start off by asking, what motivated you to write the your book? >> so two things just in case somebody in the audience doesn't know why i'm -- my name is reginald dwayne betts and at the start of it. i'm named after my father, but everybody calls me dwayne. aisle get into why they called me that in prison. i was incarcerated far carjacking. i did eight and a half years in prison. and your question was, what motivated me to write my book. what makes your book different from any other books out there
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about prison and inmates. >> the interesting thing i was i had been arrested when i was 16. never committed a crime. i had a gun, it was my first time ever having a done. you know how you hear the stories in the first time somebody did x for the first time and you don't believe it. i didn't believe my own story. i knew i could have committed a crime of this nature. it was the only crime i ever committed. then i thought how do you explain it to yourself but how would i go about explaining it to my mom and the rest of my family. and particularly, in light of the fact that i had been a reader before i had been incarcerated. i had read books about prison and people like i've never heard of. and also, i had just thought of incarceration and what it meant to the black community before
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committing my crime. and so, i decided i wanted to be a writer while i was in prison. and part of of the impulse was to write as means of finding an explanation to my own. when i got the opportunity to write the book, that was the main reason why i wanted to write the book, also, you know what i found different is every book that i can name and think of about prison, sort of has the natural prisoner's life. it's typically before prison, during prison, and after prison. you get a good feeling about the person that committed the crime. they did something that is credible to to get to the place to write the book. if '02 you're feeling something good about --ic you stop think abouting when it means to be in prison and the justice system and what it means to the country. i wanted to write a book a that what it meant to be a juvenile
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in prison. and two, i wanted the book to essentially end with me just leaving prison, you had no idea what would happen to me. because i had no idea what would happen to me inspect in that way totally being a focus on my it could start a conversation the role of the justice system and the variation communities. >> one of the things you mentioned you were 16 when you caught your case, am i correct. >> 16 years old. juvenile. and it would have been charged a adult life sentence. something that i believe took from your book and even hearing you now and my conversation that we had the other day. you have policies that affect juveniles and affect adults and the policy makers are not necessarily people like you or myself. say that because, again, being in the same -- walk in the same
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shoes you walk in the past, you know, i could relate to a lot of stuff that i read. my point is that often, the stories that i shared by a lot of people that have been in the prison system are not necessarily echoed in a positive way. what you've done, you know, taken this native experience of going to prison, but also, you know, you took ownership of what happened, you know. you never really denied the stuff. you did explain they arely about what lead to it and what you did with your time there. you see the struggles, despairty, how population are march losed. i wonder now after you wrote the book, what's become of all that? >> well,, i mean, i guess i could say that one of the things of the book was giving me the opportunity to go to different colleges to speak on different
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panels and actually to speak at congressional briefings about some of the policy issues they're going through in incarceration. i think about when i had been locked up at 16 my mom didn't know 16-year-olds could be tried as adults. i had a cousin than got locked up. what happened is what i wanted to do is start a conversation in the community how do you prevent crime and prevent what's going on what happens to the young people who make terrible mistakes. put it perspective the judge sentenced me he's under no illusion in prison. i was sentenced to nine years. even if i did the time. i'd be released at 25. the judge understand when i was sentenced but it was nothing in prison one said place to protect me if i needed protection.
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but given that, you know, i was barely old enough to get a drlings. and so some of the conversations that have now and trying to connect my experience to policy because i think it's one thing for me to talk about my experience. i think and some in ways that's important. i have funny stories. i haven't told any. i have a couple of funny stories about what it means to be in prison. and it's something to be said about experience you know what it means to go do something different and there's something relevant to be said about that. i appreciate the idea of a memoir. but i think it's something to be said about policy in looking at my experience. there haven't been many i can name or maybe the national prominence that had the opportunity to connect their troubles to larger policy issues. and i want in time to be able to do that and be able to in some ways distinguish my -- disconnect my troubles from the
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policy issues. i haven't been able to do that. but at the time i want to be able to do that. the reality i think the experience i have makes me able to discussion some things in a way and with nuance to somebody else may not. sometimes it's hard for people to hear that. they always connect what i say to my trouble. they don't hear somebody who could be a expert on policy issues. they may here a 16-year-old. they say i had a baby face. i don't know. i'm absolutely certain that i'm no longer 16 years old. there has to be a place where you ask to be a part of a discussion they can be a part of a discussion based on the skills they earned to contribute. and i just wayed on the troubles that they dealt with. >> all right. you know, it's interesting enough to -- based on the conversation that we had the other day, we're talking about some of the challenges that we've had with some of the
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success, right, a lot of times people this it happens overnight. sometimes people think that there's more to what they're seeing. there's more behind the curtain. and truth of the matter, you know, obviously i've seen how nationally you've involved in this discussions and even as a consult assistant and through a lot of work not with the community but -- [inaudible] interestingly enough, had i had the honor to be the main subjects in the documentary. i talked about it. when i introduced myself. i told you, well, i have this privilege of being part of the documentary. i saw that film last month. i was like, yeah, that's me. but i didn't say it. because i thought he was the -- [inaudible conversations] i was like eddie. he's like that wasn't me. i was like, good.
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working with the kids painting and stuff like that but we were joking about that. but, you know, it's amazing because no matter how much we struggle, and how much we think, you know, we done good and how much we've tried to change our lives. there are critics and skeptics and my question is, i've had my challenges, you know, but how has it affected you as far as people -- how do they see you now and, i mean, when they look at you really giving someone who is could arctic late when they speak for those who don't have a voice. >> yeah, you know. well, the idea of speaking of for people who don't have a voice. i just kind of don't like that term, i think it's not true. i think people have voices.
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i remember when i was locked up. we were talking about a kid i knew -- he must have been second cell partner in prison. and we were both 16. and, you know, the thing that devastated me, he was 16 he had a picture of his daughter. his daughter had been born right before he was born. he had been arrested for attempted capital murder. it's a long story, to be clear in the incident the gun was never fired. he claimed that he didn't pull the trigger. but he was sentenced to 63 years. i think to myself, you know, how can do 85% of 63 years at 15 16 years old. that's a life sentence. i remember writing the aclu about his case. i thought to myself that a lot of people write letters to
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variouses orings. when we say people don't have a voice, i think a more accurate statement might be that people have voice that we don't often listen to. and i mean i guess i do i try to represent. this is on c-span. i know, people who have cable who have five inch color tvs and sitting in a cell somewhere. i used to watch c-span. right now at the very moment, there are people that i know who could be watching this on c-span and so, when we talk about people not having a voice, people have voices and people have voices in ways you don't expect. i don't know how i appreciated c-span giving me the opportunity to listen to authors speak while i was in prison. now that i know people could be seeing me speak and what it means. i do understand it. there are occasions when i do get an opportunity i do get to speak for people who don't get to speak for themselves in larger context. i don't people doubt that.
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what they doubt anything -- this is like watching the interpreters. i thought i had two children, a wife, bills and i thought when we do this criminal justice reform work and we try to stop violence, how do we have a conversation that goes beyond stopping violence and goes for life building. and i think, that's something that people don't necessarily want in the past have wanted to engage me with. i haven't had many conversations with people within the community that went beyond me speaking about my experience in prison toward how do i make a life for myself in the free world. and if i'm devoting and i met young people who devoted a lot of their time to speaking at hears or local or state hearings speaking at community centers talk about their experience trying to change policies. and i've often felt, okay, i'm
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glad you're doing the work. what work are you doing to be able to put food on your table? and to be able to sustain you you can build a different life for yourself. at the end of the day, there is a problem -- i committed a crime. the end of the day, i have to figure out how to address the fact that it might be a young kid like me on the verge of committing a crime. how do i convince them of the important work that has gone toward me building a life for myself that is in a lot of ways independent of me having opportunity for speak for others. and speak for myself. and, you know, that's the work that -- that's the work that citizens actually value most, you know, how much citizens and the people of the world truly value somebody who talks. you have to be able to do more than talk. i know, people really, really value what it means to put yourself in any circumstance and
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try to get a nine to five and pay the bills. at the end of the day, one of the things i imagine that drives resit vifm is the inability to get the nine to five. the inability to see yourself as a working citizens and only sort of being able to concept lose yourself as a former inmate our, you know, whatever. >> i agree with. i agree. something that kind of resonated with me, the last conversation about, you know, people who aren't proficient who shared testimony, talk about their experience both in prison and in the challenges they've had growing up and then, you know, change challenges they had coming out of prison being released. and so there a lot of agencies out there in the community organizations so forth that often, you know, we are testimony -- i told you my testimony, i would rather save that when i go to church. i didn't get to learn that until
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recently. and i'm 36 years old. i'm just realizing it. you call it a mascot. and i started cracking up like sometimes that's how people look at us sometimes. people with authority or people who have the ability to preach but here to help out communities. but they become -- and the values of the from the organization. i say, i get it. i think, you know, i get it. it's difficult. it's difficult to -- one, i think just the reality. i met people who i would say, listen, it might not be the work for you. you probably should go back to school. i don't know why you think you have the right to sit at the table that spent ten years studying criminal justice policies and get the same respect and authority they get. maybe you should choose not to do this.
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and unfortunately felt the need to say that. the truth is that everybody in the audience is thinking, okay why should i listen to you. if all you have is your testimony. that may per said some people to listen. they're going to look at the question again and the testimony and lean toward the other person on the panel. again, i mean, i got out of prison, and i went to college first, i went to community college. and then i went to the university of maryland. i -- one of my professors from the school said why didn't you mention our name. i went to the community college in maryland then i went to the university of maryland. it was a lot of work going school that didn't necessarily show up in my bio when i was introduced so some places to speak. but when i came it around and came around for me to apply to fellowships or jobs, it was that work that allowed me to extent myself beyond my testimony. it's not that i don't embrace my
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testimony, i mean i do embrace my testimony. it's just that, you know, at some point, you want people 20 respect you -- for what you've been through. when they say i don't know how i survived your life. and i think your life hasn't been that great either. [laughter] before we go back and forth to get some questions from the audience. i wish -- we should do that. any questions from the audience? >> put them on the spot so that -- c-span things can at times -- we had maybe turn the channel. [laughter] so if you have to hear you laughing and make sure that you're enjoying it. if you have any questions, you all could -- if not, we have a lot of things to talk about. even if it's a comment. if you have a question, please come up to the mike and share it.
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>> yes? >> so you got my thinking, when you mentioned you had a handful of funny stories from prison. would it be too much to ask or share something with us. >> let me think of something that is funny. >> there aren't that many funny stories in prison. i just said that. man, do you have any other -- there are a things that i found humorous. i think you were laughing. i was laughing because i was calling -- when i was in prison, i was like, i remember that. and there was some sad stories that you mentioned there were necessary funny our more, there was laughing about it because i was like wow. >> i don't have any funny stories. i thought i had funny stories and then i realized that i laughed at thing that aren't appropriate.
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so, you know, i will tell a story. i'll tale sad story. but it's like -- if i was it would be hilarious. so you're in prison and they are rules set up to sort of ensure your safety. and so we had lots to protect your equipment your snacks and your hygiene and cigarettes if you smoke. so people wouldn't steal from you, right. it wasn't effective at all. it's like having a club when you're caught in a dangerous neighborhood. you don't have a club because you think it deyou have it because it makes you feel good. you being proactive. people have locks on their stuff and go in saw the locks and still take everything you own. that was sad. one day, so one someday coming from the reck yard and i was a little guy. the thing about prison, you get there and some people deal with mental illnesses that you don't
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know about. the little guy had cuts up and down his arm. a little white guy. prison is the one place in america which in being a white male is not to your advantage. [laughter] and which is a really sad state of affairs. but anyway so this guy, you know, he was little white guy. and there was another guy who had loaned him some stamps. the guy tried to give him stamps back. but for some reason the little guy, you feel if somebody threatens you many prison you have to do something. i think he thought the guy was tryingto take something from him. and we were coming up the steps and the one small guy said hey, and the other guy turned around and he hit him upside the head with the bridge in the nose with the lock in the sock. the dude was stunned. he hit him again and he fell and jumped on him and was hitting
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him repeatedly. people were walking up the steps and stepping over the chaos and going about their business. nobody was laughing. but nobody helped. and i don't think it's no one cared enough to stop it. it was just that, that you get so -- that everybody gets tiewght they have a role. we have rules right now, right. and so you get your role is to intervene i didn't know why they were fighting. i stepped over it too, i walked away. and the sad thing was guy was what's going on. the guy on the ground was like, i didn't do anything. i'm not hitting him. and then, i was like you shouldn't be hitting him. that's not funny. i was thinking that the world is just so backwards. that to say that you absence of toward in the situation can lead
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to you getting a concussion. anyway this is the funny part. that part isn't funny. it's sad. the funny part is, they put his own lock, like a few hours, to the next day then they sent out a them owe the next morning that said as a safety measure, they're confiscating all the locks in the prison. now you can take my stuff. but this is what's worst though, they took awe all the locks. we had -- [inaudible] so it's like okay, you're trying to start violence. there's one guy getting upside the head with the locks. you take them. but then you have the adapters and they were as big as locks. and if not bigger than that the locks. that's the insanity that comes with managing a prison. is that, you know, when you push the to try to explain the un explainable you give up.
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the prison wasn't interested in explaining the violence to us. and we weren't explaining the circumstance with our particular events to the system. what they were interesting in doing is having a show of stopping the violence. when i think about why juveniles shouldn't go to prison with adults. it's that it's the numbing effect. some peep in the audience i feel some of you are traumatized in forever because i told a terrible story of violence. and i'm probably traumatized in ways that i couldn't articulate. i moved on. i couldn't count a number of instances of violence i witnessed in prison. when i try to advocate for juveniles that have to go to prison with adults. it's not that i'm trying to argue that all of the men who have been in prison are dangerous. at one point, i was a man in prison. i wasn't always like, 16. i'm trying to say that -- this
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is what the book is about. when i'm describing the different things. in the book i'm trying to go through the process to come from a 16-year-old kid who had never been in trouble before to a man who could witness something like that and like not bat an eye and keep moving and think about -- i'm not saying what's for lunch. but whatever i might have been thinking about. that story wasn't gunny at -- funny at all. >> no. i won't say it wasn't funny. being there, again, being in the situations in the past, in prison, seeing people seeing gang riots seeing a lot of correctional officers, you know, beating, you know, breading people's wrists when they're cuffed up. i've been a witness to a lot of that and my friends and myself spending two and a half years of my time in segregation.
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we both witnessed a lot of horrific things that actually in prison in our minds, you know, and so many ways they even effect us emotionally and the psychological scars we carry. people who have been in situation. sometimes ther. seption of -- perception of, you know, the people who walk in the streets don't fully understand that it's not necessarily that we chose to live in that environment. it's not necessarily that we made the bad choices. something that we saw as a kid lead us there the domestic violence or being exposed to it violence at the early age often that becomes normalized in the community. in prison it's no different. you mention about, you know, the young white kid who was more
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than anything else felt like it's what he had to do. it's a survival thing. it's something that becomes a norm. i mentioned to you earlier, i didn't spended a lot of time playing cards or chess. i spent a lot of time observing and getting to know people on a one on one basis. getting to know their stories. at the time, i was looking at reflection of myself. i wonder, you know, i'm sure you have dozens of stories like that. but what's -- like, what do you think -- what level of capacity of the trauma people who experience all of this -- their understanding. or even yours, for example, how do you function. >> a couple of things. you meat me feel like a slacker. i spent a lot of time playing spades with, you know, chess.
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but i think it was a quote when i said about my father. i met in prison. this isn't a huge stereotype. it's a sad thing. it's a sad thing probably the reaffirm stereotypes. it was the first time i talked to a black men of a certain age or generation over 35. it's like, really, disappointing in some ways. but i think it's -- i think that's the biggest tragedy. i think sort of -- but also talking to them maybe taught me how to deal with some of the trauma. i never met anyone in the vietnam war until i went to prison. and i never anyone that dealt with substance abuse issues until prison and meeting people who had. i never had -- you sort of judge people who weren't fathers to their children. and going to prison, i met
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people who like weren't fathers to their children. and it was sad because 77 their inability to function whether it was because of being caught up in the streets whether it was because they were addicted to drugs. in that sense, i trying to understand them i think in some ways i began to understand myself. before i wept to prison, i was [inaudible] i was a decent student. i was hon honor roll student all through high school. i didn't go to school that much in high school. i thought i was getting good grades i was smart because i was getting good grades and showing up. it made me think than i was better than the segment of the community that i saw disappearing. there is a poem called the "current wind." it's about a dictator. but in the poem it's a scene
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where the i did tack toy are -- brings out a jar and it's full of disdense that he -- we have that in the united states. and it's sort of different concepts it's not that a dictator disappeared people. but it is that violence and drugs really disappear huge segments of the black community and the bad choices. i began to meet these men and start to think about this. and ask myself, you you know what are their stories. but two, how about operating in a role which i can acknowledge my failures and their failures and respect them despite that. how do i deal with it? i think i deal with trauma. if you have an eye injury, you
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have eye forms scar tissue over the wound. i was playing soccer, you have to ask me about spanish. when i was playing soccer with latino kids. somebody can kicked the ball and it hit any the eye. my retina almost got detached. i had to see a specialist and it formed over it. it didn't get detached. then the scar formed over the scar. they thought it was at risk of breaking. it was at risk of being detached if i had experienced a huge blunt force trauma to my head. i won't tell you which one just in case. how does my eye function now? the scar tissue built over the wound and it keeps my retina attached. i think in some ways, we figure out how to build scar tissue over the trauma. and that scar tissue is allows me to function in the world today despite, you know, -- two
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kids. life is not it's in some ways sad. i have a beautiful life. i have two children distinguish i'm free -- i have two children, i'm free. if i think about those things and try to live in the moment. i might not have been able to get a date for prom. so what i missed it. you mention in the book, when the -- [inaudible] it's kind of funny kind of sad at the same time. first of all, it was like some dude from el salvador. you said they were mexico. >> i didn't tell them that. i did think they were mexican. but i didn't say that to them. knew enough. i'm assuming they are mexican because they speak spanish. but i did think this was
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ignorant. but it was my assumption. the part that you mentioned is they're talking in hispanics and wondering what they're saying. you know, and you recall that and part of the story that few years of french classes and you mentioned the phrase? >> what? [speaking in french] which is be quiet. my teacher used to say that. >> all of my years taking french, that's one of the things that you remembered. but you made it a priority to learn a different language. a language that is not necessarily your own. but the interesting part of what that part of the story is that it's something that i see quite a bit is that you mentioned that often people think that maybe people who have different when from that area or place.
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they have to know the culture. they have to, you know, in other words know your culture as american. they have to know a language. what often we become complacent. we don't take the step to learn about someone else's culture or language. most of us haven't talked to a frenchman. i took two years of french. i tell you a few phrases. i've never spoken to anybody in french or met anybody who is french. but you made a priority to learn spanish. i'm wondering, first of all, did you learn spanish, what was the process of actually learning. >> two things. one, one of the main reason i did it there was a guy named i don't know if i can say his name. i was locked up with him. this older dude was picking on me. it wasn't softly.
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it could have been the way you mess with somebody that is your little brother. or it could be the way you mess with somebody because you are a bully. if you are in the one in the situation it's hard for you to know until you tell somebody to stop and they don't day. one day the guy was watching. i had never talked to the hispanic. he was like, i want you to leave him alone. the dude was like mind your own business. he was bigger than me. he wasn't that big. the dude messing with me was a huge dude. looked like he did 100 pushups a day. he did did. he took up for me and when he stood up the puerto rican dude stood up. the other max can stood up too. nothing happened. the situation was sparse. but i was like, man, you know, he stood in the gap for me, and i didn't know his name.
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and it was -- you know, it was eye opening in a sense that i was 16-year-old kid in a county jail. the only juvenile in the on the block. and i had somebody stand up for me that was from eel salad door. he had a ton of tattoo that make him look dangerous. not the cute ones. not flowers or beautiful flies. we are talking to him and the other guy two guys. they were trying to english and i would have to start talking spanish for the one guy, droopy it wasn't difficult for him. the other two was it was difficult they didn't know english well. i decided to teach myself spanish. the process when i got up in the morning at 6:00 or 5:00 and i would study for two or three hours depending when they call
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breakfast and another hour and another hour. i studied for five hours a day. i started talking to people on the block. it was difficult in a way. i was freedom cuba and eel solve door. this is the most ignorant statement i'll ever say. as much as prison is a terrible places, it was the most diverse place i had ever been until that point. i was in a block, except there weren't any white people. outside of that, there was a diverse place. a guy from cuba, peru, you had black fellows from all over the country, states i had never been to. it was a sad testament to like the conditions somehow in the cities is that they able to get a diverse pool of people to spend the bulk of their good years behind bars. and not always for violent crimes and not always for crimes
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i think with that warrant incarceration. but i started talking to them. at first, it was choppy and slow. then i got to the point i could have conversations. it was good, because i got to learn things about the culture. more than that, i got realize the work that goes into learning something that in some ways we neglect. it's weird, because if you're an immigrant and you're not of, like say the college-educated class. you have some something up on most americans, anyway. having had learned two languages and knowing two languages when most americans. we don't go to high school to learn another language. they give us the class. it's never meant to walk away speaking rudimentary languages. i thought it was sad because if my kid teaches a foreign
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language in high school he will be able to finish without speaking the language or he has no choice. he will. >> that's interesting. again, it's one of the best parts of the book. it was kind of like, i find it as funny in an unusual way. the other thing i wanted to mention, and it's really evident with the way i'm listening to you speak, and also with some of the words that you've chosen in your book, right. it's interesting too, they're you're not using. the word to express certain things or describe certain things that are often not necessarily known or somebody hasn't been to the prison system. the other thing is that coming out -- [inaudible] i'm not sure how difficult it was for you it was difficult for me to culturally to a different environment. and it still continues to be that. i wondered, how has that been for you.
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>> two things, i'm asking the question. if you have a question, ask it now. i got locked up when i was 16, and the thing is, when i got locked up. nobody had a cell phone. three people a cell phone in my city. [laughter] i came home ten years later and everybody has a cell phone. i was only 25 or 24 -- i was 24. so i was still pretty young. and i still sort of came up in the video game generation so adapting to technology wasn't that difficult. i spent a lot of time reading. i i'm fairly intelligent. i had family support. and when i went to college, and, you know, doors lose on you when you have a record. but if you have a college degree, some doors open. more importantly, you give yourself time while you're in school to do other things to do
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other things to balance out the crimes you've committed. i hardest thing for me, maybe, has been deal with having the connection to the past. still having the connection to the system. and how best to do something for myself and my family and people who i do care about who are still in prison. and be able to have a conversation in a way that i'm able to admit i have been guilty and i know there are others who have guilty. but it's not a condition to have a drain on a nation's resources. and in a sort of try to have the argument. but yeah, like i said, thank you for coming. it's been a pleasure. and it's been real. i want to ask you one last question, we have a couple of minutes. but right now you have an audience here. they seem to be captain captivated -- looking beyond
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there are people who watching mention people who have in prison watching the secure tvs. but what message of hope do you give them and you know what can you leave leaving here today right now, what kind of -- what can they do, and what kind of hope do you give those who center in the prison cells right now who are trying to change who -- many times they want to have the same opportunity that you and have i had, but dying for the opportunities to be able say, i have strength. i want to be able to give a little bit of myself. >> you know, you put me on the spot. i guess, a couple of things. i guess, i will admit that when i was in prison, i had no idea this was actually possible. and i think it's important to expand what you believe is possible. i didn't think it would have happened when i was planning my own life. i think there's a few monumental
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things. education has been important. human theys going to college or studying the sinlesses or -- sciences or whatever the vocational education. i think education is important. i think for people in prison don't have access to education. i think it's important to find ways to get in touch with the community. i know, it's difficult for me it'd be difficult. i wouldn't get letters back. ii would say i'm not going to write that person. it's important reach out to community. for the people in. community, i would like to think you can go to the campaign free justice website. read two or three articles and learn more about the particular issues i deal with juvenile transfer to adult court to anybody you know. and equipped with that knowledge, i think you can db some of the issues and it come os indication to act on something and still have
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knowledge i think that's the biggest thing people in the community can do. because when we talk about the prison being filled with salespeople who spheres. -- filled with people who disappear. we don't consider the men and women and women too. we don't consider the men and women as part of the community. one of the reasons why we don't, is because we're ig ranted of prison. even though they make it like major entertainment now. "lockup" but it is show that -- i won't speak about "lockup." the fact it can be a source of entertainment and yet the public can be so ignorant about the policies and how it is a huge drain. right now in most states they spend more money on incarceration than education. it's about $25,000 per inmate here in the state of illinois. every year about $35,000 inmates being inmates l being released
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into the at a state. i'm doing campaigning with the tboil give opportunities for people who, you know, not necessarily like me. people committed the crime when they were 16 were caught with a dime bag of weed or broke into somebody's car and got a fight. and it prevents them from employment and feed their family. from those, i hope you can connect with the community. you're right, people can connect with. they can find ways to give it back. a lot has to do with ignorance. i want to thank for your time today. do you want to mention the book one last time. >> "a question of freedom; a memoir of learning, survival, and coming of age in prison." it's a excellent book. it's a memoir of learning coming of age and survival in prison. "a question of freedom; a memoir of learning, survival, and coming of age in prison." thank you. we appreciate it.
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>>
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for most northern soldiers, not all that most. and what i mean by that is that most of them enter the war convinced that the united states has to survive. it has to survive to show the world that their representative government can work. in 1848 in a series of revolutions in 1848 in europe as they see it failed. failed space revolutions, and so they see the united states this is it this is the world's last shot. it works here or it will never be tried again. so, these states think that they can destroy the government how the unions want to see it because they don't like who got elected and the government doesn't work so we have to prove that it can survive. and that's how this starts. but they don't have to be in the south very long before they begin to think why did we get into this to begin with? they talk like summers, the talk to the slaves and they are really struck by how we got into
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this problem to begin with because of this institution of slavery. if you want to solve a problem, the only way to do it is to root out the cause. so, the union soldiers made a shift much, much earlier than i anticipated. the shift begins in the summer of 1861 where they are beginning to write home to their families but also to their elected officials to say that if we want to win this war and we don't want to fight it again in ten years, we need to get rid of the problem. we need to get rid of slavery or this could be right back at square one. i thought i would just talk a little bit briefly about why this story intrigued me so much. a little bit about the reporting process, and, you know, bring it forward to today because that is
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what intrigued me come and then just open the floor to questions. i will admit first of all i am sorely not a holy cross and grad, which somebody felt just naturally that i must be an alumnus of the school to know this story. the way i can across the story was stan grayson, one of the men in the book. we were having lunch in there was the same day that ted wells was the front-page story in the new york times. he was representing scooter libya the time, so going way back and he started to talk about his classmates, the other black classmates. he started to talk about father brooks, and i was intrigued. i was intrigued because clarence thomas was one of those classmates, and i haven't read much about the interaction between justice thomas and father brooks. so, that got me in trade. i business journalist. it wasn't a classic business story but i always interested in the leadership and i'm always interested in mentoring.
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it took awhile to get justice thomas to speak to me because i think in part he didn't trust the agenda that i had which is that i would like in fact to talk about 1968, '69, '70 and what amazed me is when i did going to see him, the depth of passion that he had for the holy cross. the feelings and emotions that he had. i'm not sure who was at his presentation last week when he got his artery degree. but that came up again. when you contrast how she feels about holy cross verses what he said about his experience at yale, there's a profound difference coming and i think one of the big differences was his classmates, and was the way that he felt treated at the college and certainly the way that he felt cheated by father brooks so i basically set out to an article. i decided that it was in fact grounds for book and i have to
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say this being my first book project, i went on all sorts of directions that ultimately didn't work, one of which was lots of history. the publishers said no. a lot of the history that took me awhile to pronounced like everybody else that isn't from the area, not for tester -- were chester, worster. one thing it meant is unfortunately a lot of the people i talked to i had to diminish their role in the book. i had to take names out because again, my editor said you know what, i am getting confused keeping track of all these people. focus on the men come on the fraternity that before becoming a use that as a sort of microcosm for what the experience of the holy cross and what was being experienced across the country at that time. i think there were a couple
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things that i tried to be careful not to do. one was to heighten the drama too much with the state interest and dialogue. but no, i think the main thing that was important to me that the holy cross was both special and unique but it was a microcosm of what was happening in the country at that time. i am not american. i grew up in scotland. i am half catholic but brady is a name to have when you are reporting that the holy cross. i was always intrigued born in the late 60's and never understood the motions at the time the book opens right after dr. martin luther king has been killed. also father brooks intrigued me as somebody that was a pioneer that went out there and basically circumvented the
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admissions process. he was controversy will as you know those of you that have read the book he is a very strong-willed man and he basically went out in a car with jim gallagher, drove to the school and personally interviewed a lot of these men not who came in through other means such as eddy that came with an athletic scholarship. an eye-popping? can everybody still hear me? you know, they sat in the coffee shop one night and decided who was going to get in than he presented a bill to the father that was the president of the time from $80,000 for a college that had about a million dollars of endowment at the time was quite the cost to bear. what he was looking for i asked him how do you decide? anybody that is a parent in the
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room knows that intelligence is not necessarily something that is a hallmark of success. it doesn't necessarily need to leave to lead to success. when you talk to father look-see was looking for a drive, he was looking for people that had a work ethic, people that were hoping to reach beyond their grasp black-and-white and as you may not know he was fighting at the time to get women into the college and sadly for the class of 72i think they didn't arrive until the fall of that year and a doubles after father brooks became president and said he managed to shake up the trustee and get some people on that it did finally passed the resolution to let women into the college. so, i think that when i look at this story, and i will take your question what struck me when i look at today as first of all the network and it's the network of these men and called fraternity because it's not
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about one man, the priest, the theology professor leader the been the leader president who when out to save a group of men to read these are men that were highly motivated, highly accomplished who were being given an opportunity that we wouldn't have had probably two or three years earlier. there were other african-american students of the holy cross but they tended to be one or two years. in some cases one. as we would say one on an athletic scholarship and one would come to the catholic school that work and that was pretty much it. this was the first major group that came. it was 20 men. clarence thomas transferred after dropping out of the seminary so it was the first time they had critical numbers on campus. and what i think happened was father brooks and the college never feared on academic standards all of them had to work harder in many cases to the i think ted wells and clarence
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thomas tend to close down the library at night according to everybody that i talked to. but i think where he did make confessions was socially, and he's understood how difficult it was. he gave them a vsu van, they pay for the station wagon to get them off campus as long as they cut. he paid for them to have a vsu coming and he allowed them to live together which was very controversial. i know we have one of the editors of the crusader of the time and i remember reading a lot of their articles that basically students were very upset about this segregation they called it but he understood they made concessions and when i talk to the men it is the idea that the very highest level of the college, the interest of people cared about their success. the interested people had faith in them and there was all their
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books and there was an open door. he had that philosophy for the 2,000 students who were there. many people here feel very close. he was with us last night and he was certainly there last week for clarence thomas. but when i talked father brooks today he wants leaders and felt the college was missing out on being the best institution in this country but not reaching out getting all parts of society. women, black, white, asian. i know that have made great strides in diversity. certainly there has been a very strong generation of leaders of women. there were many other women that were pioneers. one thing that's interesting is there has been great success in terms of what's happened with african-americans as well. i know he went on to harvard. some of his classmates include
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the american express cannot frazier a lot of highly accomplished then from that generation but i think there's also a lot of disappointment in the black middle class in this country what happens with education and the erosion of opportunities. friendly but also happened in terms of some of the decisions, some of which have been made by justice thomas in terms of opportunities come affirmative action and such the generation as we to be financial. asquint be encouraging entrepreneurship. it's kind basically giving people the tools to start their own businesses -- i think that's why phone -- inspire the same generation of leaders that cannot. before closing before i take questions, one thing i want to say is another thanks to the holy cross community because one
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thing of this reporting process has to be enforced is the straw and fraternity in the power but one of the highest levels of giving which is amazing especially for people in the diversity because the holy cross when i look at the networks that have been formed, the power of the cross as they call it and the way that people support each other and love each other across the generations think it is very inspiring, and it is also to the estimate of how the leadership really happens in this country and how it happens everywhere else, and i think that the support and the love people have shown for father brooks in this process that they have shown for these men and appreciation how difficult it was to be pioneers on the campus i hope it is a story that we will continue to come back to again and again. as a reporter have to say given
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the support that i got from the holy cross, i want every story for now want to be based on the holy cross campus. so, thank you very much again for supporting the book. i don't think it does justice to this period, but i hope that at least it is a start and that others will come forward and continue to tell the story. >> more joe jackson author of "atlantic fever" recounts the f-14 aviators who took part in the 25,000 other contest to be the first to fly a nonstop across the atlantic in 1927. it evened culminated in the death of six pilots and was won by charles lindbergh who guided st. louis across the ocean on may 21st, 1927. this is about an hour and ten minutes. [applause]
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>> well, thank you for having me here and for coming out here tonight. i spoke at one other place in manhattan today. and this and the time in manhattan were the first times that i have ever given a talk with a power plant. so i will try not to blow anything up. they've shown me how to push the buttons, and it should move forward easily. this is my seventh book. whenever i start a new book is usually from an idea. when i started thinking about this book, it was 2008, the year of the beijing summer olympics and the presidential elections and there was a lot of talk in the press and magazines and on tv about whether or not the united states was the most competitive culture on earth. i was fascinated by that, and i wondered about this 20th century is biggest race. when i fixed on the prize for, i
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quickly discovered that the story was really about something else in competition. it turned into a story of celebrity. or this business as richard byrd, one of the main rivals in the race liked to call it. these days celebrity and being number one go hand in hand, and so i found writing this book ee fascinating there's no you can escape lindbergh wife wanted to write about the losers. it devotee has always written about what became known as the great atlantic derby from the victors perspective which is the way that we do it in the united states. but they have forgotten all of the others. from september, 1926 to june,
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1927, 16 aviators from the u.s., france, norway and russia entered this race six of them died. that's not quite 50%. they were seeking $25,000 prize offered by the new york hotel owner for the first aviator to fly across the atlantic nonstop from new york to paris either way. he first offered the prize in 1919 and i will tell you why he offered it. he got all excited about -- he was a frenchman and he got romantically excited about the airplane. but that technology to make such a flight was not freely available to flyers until 24, 25, 26, certainly 1927. what's even more interesting
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about the stories that after the official race ended, something even stranger and deadlier began from june to december of that year, less experienced pilots tried to duplicate lindbergh feat and field. it either crashed or didn't get off the ground or they died. during that six months ago, 12 more pilots died in the attempt to cross the atlantic. many of them were women. more people than that diet trying to cross other large bodies of water, but those that tried to cross the atlantic like i said many of them were trying to prove that women were just as capable in the men as -- in the air as men. it made sense to me as i was writing this and it made a general sense that this would have been when and how we did.
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the technology for a long-distance flight, a 33 our 3600-mile flight had come about as the development of powerful new era cooled engines. if you ever go in an area there's a lot of crop dusters you will still see these engines around. they look like octopi with all of the arms radiating out from them. they are very powerful and there was also the prevalent belief that the time the airplane would make the world a better place, that a kind of utopia would involve. the idea was because continents would be more quickly linked. people would get to know each other and therefore there would be an era of peace, no more war. there is the belief that man what he called in about 3,000
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years. cities that float in the air and the man would leave in the atmosphere. disease would disappear from the atmosphere and it man would become more spiritual and a new breed of, say behans what evils which would become altitude men. more than that, as i was researching the book i began to see the growth of america's celebrity culture about which we know -- about which we are so inundated today really started to take place during this time and especially during this race. once again, technology made this possible, and 1926, 1927, you have the establishment of the national radio networks, abc and cbs. they had to fill the airwaves with information. you had an explosion of the print industry.
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there were more magazines than ever before coming in you had movies. in 1927 you had talking movies. lindbergh, in fact, one reason lindbergh will become so well known was because he was the most film the individual at that time. was estimated that 7.43 million feet of cellulite was used on lindbergh, which was 2 million feet more than the previous most of the individual who was the prince of wales. so people were fascinated by all of these but especially lindbergh. the idea celebrity as a person of importance was taking shape in our minds at this time. walter, the great gossip columnist and broadcaster understood instinctively fame
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had become the heart of the daily conversation. he didn't understand what the conversation was, it was a moral and important conversation and it also seemed to be somehow therapeutic for the person that was conversing and not necessarily for the subject of the conversation but no one really knew what the language was and no one really knew what the grammar was and no one knew what the rules of the game where. in the mid 1920's, the two events that occurred that clarify the rules of celebrity for the writer and the broadcaster, and we can still see the patterns today in our celebrities environment. the first event occurred in 1925. there was a little-known kentucky floyd collins who went down into a cave shaft in southeastern kentucky and got
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stuck and for the next two weeks newspapers cover the attempt to try to save him. there were several agencies that flashed news of the rescue attempt oliver the united states. there were newsreel's about him during the remittances and plays of broadway. the management would give up the dates on what was going on at floyd collins, and basically when journalists look back, they realize what they had done is to grab the reader's interest and hold it over the course of a long sustained tail. this is the story of life and death, and they could tell physically the people were interested because during the two weeks that this occurred, at first there were hundreds of people lining the road leading
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to where the cave was coming and then there were thousands, there were 10,000 then there were 50,000. so, they knew something was going on. later they understood that what they had done was to sustain the tail by creating a cast of characters. people that their readers seem to know that they were often very simplified, they were stereotypical every time we wrote about these characters, we wrote and remind people about their basic tales. i will give you some examples. the characters in this and floyd collins story he was the outcome he was in every man. first he thought his faith in god would get him out of the cave and when it became clear he
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wouldn't get him out of the cave, he believed that his faith in god would take him to have been. there was the one reporter the was able to go down the shaft every day to interview collins to bring him water, to bring him food, it was like a strict copper wire and his name was miller. he was a reporter from louisville newspaper and he was called skeets because he was so small, like a skeeter. the narrative was skeets miller that he finds this humanity coming he is a cynical reporter going down to interview this guy every day he finds his humanity. there's the father. i can't remember his name that he is a hard-drinking mountaineer. there is the mother. she is presented as a hard-working mountain woman
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whose back was banned from years behind the plow. there was floyd collins a girlfriend that supposedly waited at the entrance to the shaft. she wasn't really his girlfriend and there was loyal dog should that we could for him his dog didn't wait for him every day at the entrance to the cave and his name was otas so there's a little bit of an editing that goes on. the slide of the atlantic may 31st to the 22nd 1927 so that means that if we to be the fifth anniversary. the greatest examples of worship that anyone could remember that took everybody by surprise but still when they went back to look at the story line was
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simple. this was with winners and losers and the body count piles of as more people died it transformed from a simple phrase and something more personal and metaphorical. became a race of life and death. the journalists by then the journalists learned and remembered the lessons with floyd collins and framed their rivals as people that we knew it and once again they were given labels. there was lindbergh. lindbergh was personified, he was the dark horse, he was the outsider. there was richard burr, the scientist slash pure reason. there was no will davis, the fellow that had ridden the range from utah as a cowboy with math books in his saddlebags.
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he was presented as the sheriff of royte with a strong moral purpose, he was going to bring back american flight records back home to where it deserved to the friendship so when from us. the already had a nickname the bad boy of the air. he was chic, he was the dark water, the reckless ladies' man, barnstormers were kind of like rock stars today. there was charles. his co-pilot friends were the only frenchman to try to come across from paris to new york. he was very romantic and he was thought of as the glamorous life of the air.
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he also had flown in a couple of hollywood movies. there were no complications in this. it was easy to understand these people as they were presented. the story lines are very simple, and because of that they can invest it with the hopes and dreams of millions, and their victories and failures became our own. now you've got to remember that at this time, lindbergh was not ordained to win, not at all. he showed up during the last -- he showed up a week before he took office. the only fly years had been covered to death, said he was new which made him a news so there was a lot of coverage about lindbergh coming and he was young and this was a young age, and so the reporters went absolutely nuts. but every one of the flyers at one time or another had been
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declared the front runner. every one of the flyers the press speculated was way to be the one that one and every one of the flyers was just as accomplished and as capable. nobody saw at that time he was any better than any of the other fliers even though in hindsight that's what you hear today. if anything, lindbergh watched the others start before him, then he took advantage of their crashes and fatal mistakes then he took his chance when the moment presented itself. all right. let's talk about the characters will that be the co -- a little bit and this is where things blow up. this is raymond.
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he was the expatriate french hotel owner new york who put down the $25,000 for the prize. some people have asked how much that would translate into the indexing figure is 325 come three ander 50,000. however, it was clearly understood that whoever was the first to cross the atlantic in addition would probably be rich fairly soon and in fact within a couple of years after winning the race, lindbergh was worth a million dollars and he continued to make more of that. he got a lot of offers in his first month which he turned down from the film studios and stuff like that and they were calculated as being worth about 5 million but he turned all of those down at first after he won he had been born on the border between spain and france and
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when he was young his grandmother sowed some friends into his belt and said go to the united states and see what you can do and he became -- he became at first a waiter at the lafayette cafe on washington square in new york and about ten years he rested the point that he bought the cafe and its adjoining hotel and with a partner, he owned two hotels in new york. one was the hotel lafayette. the hotel had the best wine cellar in new york during prohibition it was known about that comment hotel lafayette was considered a slice of authentic france in the middle of new york. everybody went there. what happened was that during world war i, the hotel lafayette was the first place to stay for
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french military men and flyers when they came to the united states for diplomacy or training and whenever, and they came and told stories about lobbying and he was always home sick about his country. he just remembered that and then after war was over, he was home sick and he missed that. he was nostalgic and in 1919, he hosted a dinner for eddy, the united states premiere world war war i. he was talking and he said you know, i miss the companionship that occurred between the french fliers and the american flyer and i only hope that as technology allows us that our
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two great countries will be united in the air not through war but by piece. and he was so inspired by that that that night he went home and joined the club of america which was a sponsoring club for the dinner, and he wrote a letter saying i am going to donate $25,000 for this prize which was basically a nonstop flight from new york to paris or paris to new york. a 3600-mile trip. he didn't know at that time $25,000 was money that is liquid capital, said there had been -- if there had been an emergency, she would have been slipping his own throat but luckily for him he realized that long, long afterwards.
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most of the flyers all but the one team they started out in long island right here. where is the roosevelt all? right there. he went that way. okay. and long island was a natural airfield. the center of nassau county which would have been where roosevelt is was known as the hempstead plains and was the only naturally occurring prairie east of the alleghenies. it was flat, there were no trees, there were few farms, the grass was soft and spongy, the undercarriages of the plans of the times were very delicate, you landed on them and you have to be able to bounce up and down a little bit or the the debris into the crash and in 1926, 1927 when the story takes place there
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are their fields next to each other there was curtis guild, mitchell field can roosevelt field. mitchell and curtis were not really available to private fliers. roosevelt was the best kept, the longest and the one even though it isn't aware of what burst occurs where they took off. run a cable from france and said he was going to be the winner in the prioress he was the greatest living a set from world war i. he had 75 officials to his name. the red baron had more but he hadn't survived and he was known as the ace of aces and came over to the pulitzer races for to help their he can cause the
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american consortium the was starting to build the plane thinking of entering the prize and kind of presented himself and said i want to do this in as famous as he said the americans went nuts. the plan was designed by igor who is today mostly known because of the helicopters that he developed, but at that time people really big planes. during world war i, he was the main aiplane builder in russia and he built bombers devotees observation decks you could walk and look at the clouds and only one of them was so massive that only one was shot down by the germans as they went over germany to bomb germany but he had to run after the revolution he first went to paris that there were a lot of displaced if and designers seeking to the
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united states. himself a pilot from american co-pilot a french radio man and a mechanical and felt his flight was a sure thing. he had no competitors. but he drastically overloaded the plan and he never got off of the ground. he bumped up over this kind of giant hill that separated roosevelt field from curtis field and the plane disintegrated and the burst into flames. the russian mechanic and the french radio man died. he said he was going to try again that he had lost, he was a loser and nobody really trusted him and said he never really got enough money for the second try.
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immediately after he crashed, all of these americans started to think i can do this, too. the first person to start thinking about this was richard burr in 1926 he had flown over the north pole. he claimed he was the first person to fly over the north pole. today that is generally disputed and is believed today that he probably from about 150 miles short. people who seem to have an ax to grind think that he was lying. those that are a little bit more unbiased seem to think that he probably -- he was always known as a navigator but he wasn't very good navigator and they seem to think that he just miscalculated, and he turned back before he was actually over the north pole. then when he finally figured it out, she had been awarded the congressional medal of honor and
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his entire image depended upon this and he couldn't really that out by that point. he was with president calvin coolidge and floyd benet who is the field is named after. he was one of the most respected fliers with in the race. he was always byrd's pilot and everything she tried to do. this guy over to the side, i don't know to it i don't think that he had anything to do with aviation. so, what happened was that in november of 1926, the owner of the department store in new york, one of the largest department stores of new york at that time said at the dinner
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honoring him, i will give you $100,000 if you will build a plane and be the first to cross the a atlantic. you must mean it america. it must be all american meat, and it will be in the name of science, purely in the name of science. he couldn't really back out all the what wasn't reported in the press at first this was kept secret for a while. his designer was anthony fokker who held the red baron's planes and had built his plane that flew over the north pole, so it was a star-studded consortium. that is the first person was rumored to fly. the first person who actually officially entered was told
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davis, the fellow closest to the wind and closest to the plane. he is the mormon cowboy, the fellow that rode the range when he was a young man. utah suddenly had four openings to annapolis. so she decided he would try to get into annapolis. she was in love war and then after the war, as many of the board young navy officers did, he decided to commit high let down in pensacola. he had the first plane the was available and ready for flying. he was the front-runner for quite awhile. many people thought that the odds of bird and yoel davis were just about equal but then on the final test down close to where i live, i live in virginia beach virginia, down on the final test of hampton virginia, which now is langley field, his very heavy
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plane couldn't lift off and he crashed and they were both killed. a lot of people say that the turning point of the race was when lindbergh showed up, but that wasn't the turning point. the race became much more serious and changed completely when davis and stanton died. of course the french radio operator and the russian mechanic had died before them but they were not really a part of the very small world of american fliers. ..
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but that was one of the biggest bombers in the united states at the time it was built by the company out of -- out of pennsylvania, it was called the american league lee gone and they gave them $100,000 to build it. it was a three-engine plane. it was another big plane like fox plane was and birds' plain was. okay. the next two people that we see are clarence chamberlain.
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they were identified as probablies. l.a. costa is the fellow with the scarf on, the tal, dark guy. he's the movie star. he was the ladies' man. chamber lynn was the exact opposite. he was short, he was she. he wore the pants that the golfers wore in the 1920s. he wore knickers, the long socks, he wore a bow tie, he was unas piloty as a pilot could be. and the fellow who owned the plane that channel chamberlain were flying in did not believe that chamberlain could fit the image of a pilot -- world class pilot if he was the first to
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cross the atlantic because the owner rightly believed that the first person across the thick would atlantic would be a world class celebrity. he was right at the time. but this time there were not really any professional pilots, this is what is different about them. there were barn stormers. those were showmen, and there were lots of military pilots, but the idea of somebody who made the life of a pilot, a test pilot, somebody that trained other pilots. that was unusual. they did that they were rarities. that was lynn berg. this is taken when he was getting his wings and as an army flier down in texas, or early in his career as a airmail fliers.
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he was not very well known at that time. he flew after getting his wings in texas, he started as a barn stormers. he knew they didn't live very long. he didn't have a great future, so he became an army avenue aviator and he joined the airmail, when he was -- when he was flying the airmail from st. louis to chicago one night, after crashed he thought i can do that myself. i thought, you know, like everybody else, he thought funk was going win then he thought if i can stay wake for 40 hour which is i have done as a airmail pilot. if i fly i loan and i keep the weight down, i could have enough gas to make it across. and so in his theory how to do it was radically different than
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the other pilots at that time. that's a plane, the spirit of st. louis, had he landed a week before taking off, this is a photograph lindberg shaking the hand of clarence chamberlain with bird in between. you can see that lindberg was quite tall his name name was slim. he was -- we were talking about this, at one time i knew, i'm not sure whether or not he was the youngest flier object field. he might have been one of the two youngest fliers. there was a nor wee again flier who may have been as young. obviously he towered over everybody else, had he had the plane developed, he wanted to make sure he had plenty of leg room. he didn't want to be cramped. this is charles, the night of -- knight of the air. he and his co-pilot were both
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world war i aces. they were revered by the french, they were loved by -- nay were loved as much as lindberg would be by the french as lindberg would be by the americans. and when they disappeared in flight, it was a national tragedy. he's shown here with his american wife. she's the american heiress con sway low hat maker. her mother married one of the discovery of the come stock load. he died leaving her millions and she married again to the personal secretary of cornell yous vanderbilt. he was the father. cons sway will had millions and
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an instant access in new york society. she was studying in france which he met him. she married him. the father thought all threers were disruptble said if you don't get it annulled i'm going write it out of the allowance. she did as dad said. they had a plan. he said that he would win, and he would land at the base of the statute of liberty, they had designed their plane so it could land on water. -- he had has medals with him. they reached down to about here. and he was going stand in the cockpit, put on the med -- medals as at boat towed his plane he would be looking for her. she would be looking for him at battery. they would see each other and never be separated again because
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he rightly presumed who was the first to cross the atlantic would make millions as lundberg did. all evidence today -- he disappeared. their plane -- the white bird disappeared. all evidence today seems to point to the fact he was the indeed the first to cross the atlantic. he disappeared between newfoundland and know have scotia. the best evidence seems to suggest he was shot down by a rum runner. this is probirks. so if this is true, he was not a victim of natural forces, he was a victim of american prohibition . this is chamberlain, once again, and the owner of the colombia,
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his plane charles levin. lavigne owned this called the "colombia" it was the best plane at the bunch. lindberg wanted it. and, lindberg always paintedly convene as a too duplicities man within his spirit of st. louis. because he always felt bitter about the fact he had the colombia within the grasp and lavigne jerked it away at the last minute. lavigne was the first transatlantic airline passenger, he jumped in to the plane at the last minute. lindberg went across on may 20, chamberlain and lavigne -- wait,
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lindberg went across in may. channel chamberlain went across in june. they went to berlin, they farther than lindberg had, and lavigne was the only flier who did not receive a letter of commendation from calvin cool age. the jewish population had a fit about that in brooklyn. lavigne is the villain of the set piece. many called him a "mad men." he was always changing his mind he was labeled as at man who was the not lindberg. he was an outsidish. he dotedded on the plane -- he was uncomfortable in society, he was a fanbler in terms of, you know, gambling about life and death. he was a fascinating character.
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and the last to go over was birds crew. a man who was the prumplive winner is the loser. and the people lined up there are costa. there had been a crash that severely injured floyd bennett, they had to rejigger their crew list, costa became one of the pilots, bert was the navigators. the man with the glass glas is the radio man and bert was a nor wee again who could fly by instruments by come us. and altimeter. something no one else could. he probably saved all their lives. they flew for 40 hours in a flog. they could never see the ground until they crashed off the western cost of france in the very end. so that ended -- that -- when they crashed in france, that
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pretty much ended the official race then from july or late june until december you had all of these people who wanted to duplicate lindberg's flight. and a number of them were women, and the only woman was survive was ruth elder. ruth elder was -- had a big as a reception when she arrived in new york as lindberg did. she was young, she was successful, she was sexy, and first she was thought to be single turned out it he had a husband back home. and the papers went absolutely nuts about her. she was raised poor in alabama, she got married and moved to -- moved to florida while lindberg was making his flight, and while
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that was going on, she decided if a man can do this, why can't a woman do it? she -- she was learning hog how to fly. they bought a type of airplane that looked a lot of like a spirit of st. louis. was called detroiter. she named it the american girl. she told the press, if an american boy can have great dreams, why can't an american girl? and she went allot of. she made it as far as -- and she crashed in the sea. but she crashed within inside an nor wee began tanker. they saved her. she very perhaps more than any other of the fliers, she understood the new world of celebrity because she said early on, anybody who -- the first
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woman who fries across is going to be famous. they're going to make money, they're going to be famous. i don't want to go back to the life of a dental hygienist in florida. why shouldn't i do this? it's my way out. what's fascinating, when you look at the archives, there were all of these letters to these fliers from men and women. the but the most saying take me along. the most poignant from women and the women saw, you know, they would -- they were -- there was one letter from a woman who had seven children but five had died, there was one woman who slung burgers in philadelphia and she offered to bring food. all of them saw flying as a way out. and ruth elder unabashedly said it's my way out. cleb celebrity is my way out.
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when she was in new york she was a huge success. see that ribbon around her hair? every day she would come to roosevelt field a different ribbon around her hair and those were quickly called ruth ribbons. all the clothing stories in new york quickly carried ruth ribbons and all the 0 girls in new york wore ruth ribbon faches huge fashion statement. she crashed but she was offered a tour, she became a very brief movie star, she married well several times, and after a few years, she gave up flying and she became a golf champion, but she. certainly did a whole lot better than, you know, her little home in the hills in alabama or the land of florida. i mean, she knew what inthe wanted and she went after it.
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and she understood and manipulated the rules of celebrity more than any of the others did. so does anybody have any questions? yes, sir? yeah. we have -- speaking to the -- please speak in to the microphone when you ask a question. [inaudible] >> don't start singing. >> what's the spirit of st. louis the first closed cockpit aircraft, i mean, as far as the planes that wered in the competition? did it have heating? >> it d it have heating? no. that would have been too -- that would have added weight. it was -- no. the colombia chamberlain was a closed cockpit.
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the only plains that were completely closed cockpit were the single engine planes. the colombia and the spirit of st. louis. let me see,bird's plane was about half closed. a canopy went up half way and then it was open. okay. >> it only the side doors and the side mirrors. >> lindberg had -- he could look out the side of his window, and he had a little telescope so he could see in front of him. and he said that's the why he flew anyway he looked out the side when he was landing. he didn't really, you know, need glass in the front or anything like that. he the gas tank in the front in front of him. >> ask k i ask one more? >> you may.
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>> any parallel between lindberg and neil armstrong? >> it's interesting. grow know who lindberg really liked during the apollo 11 mission of not neil armstrong but michael collins who stayed up in the capsule alone. and when collins was directer of the air and space museum, and there was a retrospect of lindberg, i think it was the fifty i.t. anniversary -- and they were -- and lindberg was alone looking at the spirit of st. louis up there and collins watched him and then lindberg dime him and said, you know, of all of the astronauts i envy you the most. being alone. the silence, that's what i always sam. it was interesting. >> [inaudible] >> yeah.
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collins was -- yeah. so, yeah. all right. any oh questions? >> yes, ma'am? >> wait. >> the microphone. >> i still feel today that we still love our airmen, and what these wonderful stories brings to mind is someone like sullenberger. i mean, he puts the ship down in the water, and he's still going on and on. >> it's a consult assistant for cbs now, i think it is. he's revered. you're right. >> yeah. >> it's like they doing? amazing, so he was. so i would agree with you. i think -- i don't think it's quite as overt anymore as it used to be. i think probably what we'll see the next big spurt like that is when we start to have space pilots. i mean, we have the astronauts, of course, but now the next phase in spacex mirror ration is
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the private city and they're probably going to be the daredevil space pilots somewhere down the line. i would agree with you, yes. >> [inaudible] about your research being ally brar began, i wanted to know how you did all the wonderful research. >> well, i went a to scare a lot of archives. the biggest archives were the lindberg archives and st. louis where they kept everything about the fly. and then the byrd collected letter and the substitute in jose but some of these guys published box -- books. i searched archives on all of them that i could find. i read everything i could find. i flew in a crotch duster -- crop duster so i could get a feel for the marines. i spent lot of time, there was a
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lot of the collections their letters and papers are in the library of congress or the air and space museum. so the library of congress, the manuscript division has an incredible amount as does the air and space museum. tried for the kidnapping of lindberg baby. >> right. >> touch on that at all? >> a tiny bit. i mean, remember most of the book is about the construction of celebrity and about the race. but all of these -- every one of these fliers except perhapses chandler chamberlain, fame did
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not create them well. lindberg's fall from grace was the most public and well known. the first horrible thing that happened to him was the kidnapping, of course. it was never written in stone. >> the oh thing you mention in the archives in st. louis. lindberg was living in new jersey. >> i know. there are several lindberg archives. the up with that has everything in on the transatlantic flight? the state historical society in st. louis because basically, you know, he came out of st. louis, he was funded by the st. louis businessmen. and so he was getting, you know, offers for pets and jobs and
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people were sending him poems and paintings, and finally st. louis just opened up this museum with the junk, and it became a kind of a pilgrim age place for everybody that worshiped lindberg. that's the place to go for lindberg information about the flight. if you want to go to -- if you want to find out about the childhood you go to the state historical societies of minnesota, if you want to find out about his what got him in to trouble labeled as antisemi, you go to yale where they have all of the -- they have all of the archives on america first. but that's outside of the purview of my story. i really -- i went st. louis it . >> yeah. >> many years ago, when -- there
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it -- when jeopardy, the first time around, i was a five-time champion. one of the questions they asked was who was the 28th person to fly across the atlantic. i did a shoutout it was lindberg and it was right. now we're talking -- [inaudible] right? >> solo and we're also talking -- say what? >> [inaudible conversations] >> it was nonstop. but lindberg was not actually the first to cross the atlantic there were two english fliers in 1919 by the name of al and brun. and they won a $10,000 reward in north cliff. which is a lot of money at the time. he owned -- it was a publicity stunt for the two newspapers. they flew the airplanes were much feebler then, they flew from newfoundland to ireland.
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they only flew, i mean, they flew 1,000 something miles. it's like, well, no they'res was a world war i bomber. okay. the bomber, i think, and so they were the first to actually name it across but, i mean, you know, you're talking about a different, this is a 3600 mile flying for lindberg versus 100 thousands plus mile fight for browne. a lot of this is just the mechanics of publicity. in 1927, you had movies, you had radios, you had newspapers, you had photographs you had, you know, there are millions of lindberg songs. you had talkies.
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lindberg came at the -- prize competition came at the right time for this kind of like as if nation and this world agelation. yes? >> you spoke about ruth elder at the beginning you said there were a number of women that troyed to make the cross across the atlantic can you say more? >> there was an english woman who was royalty who flew across from england to trying to mick it to the united states. she disappeared. she was known as the flying princess lowen seen something, you have to remember when i start researching a new book, the old dotes go qea. forgive me. but the other one who was fascinating was the niece of wood row wilson. she was a new yorker. her name was francis grace, and
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she flew -- tried to fly across in december. everybody was tell her this is suicidal. the ice is going to form on the wings. you're going to be dead, and she wouldn't listen, and she had several many revolts within the crew, and the day that she left she was going fly up to newfoundland service her engine and fly across. the day she left, a reporter saw her slip a gun in to her purse or backpack or something like that, and the reporter said something about a idol symbol of her authority. she changed the subject. she disappeared. i don't she killed everybody on board. i adopt think that happened. but, you know, i mean, she was
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-- she was competing time as ruth elder. it was interesting, once again the mechanics of publicity were going on. she was in her 30s. she wasn't attractive. she was stern -- [inaudible] and she was a feminist. so she was kind of scary to the press. ruth was had movie star good looks and she was sweet, she would talk to everybody and the girls in new york loved her. she was -- and she got her way through charm. there was one moment when the owner of roosevelt field closed down roosevelt field because she was scared she was going die, she got the owner of rose roosevelt field alone and charmed him to get it reopened. she could get her way by charm and ruth elder -- francis grace
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moved her base before ruth elder did and ruth elder took off and crashed and didn't make it and francis grace took off -- it was either christmas eve or a couple of days before that and disappeared. okay. wait. wait. wait. wait. we cannot be extemporaneous here. >> you mention icing and you mention the . >> right. >> they are still making aircraft now. >> yeah . >> when he chid. >> before he died he got rid of the licensing of his name because he had a fight with the people that were taken over his name his company. >> well, . >> he was out of it. >> the reason i mention it is because i just happened to be at the will guard ya airport when flight 50/50 crashed in to the
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bay after taking off and the problem was icing. it was snowing. >> yeah. i know. there have a plane that disappeared on the way from brazil to fran. it was theorized it was exactly the same thing. planesplanes are still -- talking about that, that makes me think, i still think planes are considered glamorous. i mean, why flew in yesterday, there on the tarmac was a jet, private jet, and it had kind of stood alone in a circle of lights, and painted on the fuselage was "trump" it was donald trump's giant jet. i remember i wondered about that because when i was a reporter i had gotten on the "trump princess" remember the yacht? that was like an exercise in
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excess. i wondered whether or not his plane is the same thing. >> yeah. he brought the "trump princess" for -- the guy who owned it named it after his daughter. i was it on for a part of it. >> you were? >> yeah. it was one hell of a boat. >> this is somebody wack there who wants to ask a question. >> okay. >> did you debate chance to talk to charles lindberg's grandson's, eric, he did about -- a flight over the atlantic in singling engine. yeah. i heard about that. i didn't get to talk to him. i wrote a letter to lindberg's daughter, rev, because you have to get permission to -- you have to rev lindberg's permission to devil in to the yale archives. it turned our didn't need this pep she never wrote me back. they are justifiably sensitive
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about things. i had talked to davis' song who was a year old when his father crashed. i talk to stanton's half sister who was 10 years old, when he crashed, the thing i kicked myself for is that clarence chamberlain's family is around here somewhere, maybe in new jersey or something, and there's a fellow by the name of -- i got an e-mail from a fellow named billy stoff who had made a documentary about chancer chapped berlin that showed at the imax feather. i'm sure i'm pointing in the wrong direction the cradle of civilization. that way. and all this, you know, his family is still alive, and i would have loved to known they were still alive and his children are still alive, and i
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would have loved to talk to these people. chamberlain was a fascinating character. at the time which -- there was -- there's a -- in this book, there's a lot -- there's, i mean, i don't harp on it, i can't get away from it. there's a lot of prejudice and discrimination in here, i mean, you know, lavigne there was a lot of anti-semitism, at the time in 1927, there were african-american fliers who wanted to fly, but there were few places that would let them fry. chamberlain was one of the few fliers in new york who regularly went up with a a black flier. i think he was jamaican, his name was -- what was his name? hubert julienne or something like that. he called himself the -- black
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eagle. for a couple of years, he would advertisers would pay him to go over harlem in a red devil suit and jump out with a parachute. he would trail behind him some marquee. they were the best of friends, and finally julienne said he built this plane, he was going the first american flier to fly from new york city to liberia, and i guess it was a pretty rickety plane. he invited channel chamberlain said you're not really going fly in that are you? he said, come along with me. the plane took off and within three seconds, it land in the east river and julienne was in the hospital for about a week or something like that. i don't think he tried again, but he was a fascinating character.
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i think he went on in aviation. but chamberlain was the only person -- it's interesting he was the only one fliers to get along with lavigne. it was the only one of the guy who not movie-star caliber. he was the on one of the flighters to get along with lavigne. he was the only one to take up the only black flier in new york that i could find during -- based in new york during that time. i think he was really pretty interesting. i wish somebody would do a story on this julienne fellow or a documentary or something. i think he's a, you know, just kind of this fascinating fellow. any other questions? yes, ma'am? >> [inaudible] excuse me. not so much a question as a
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comment. but aviation is having a celebration and the grandson of the lindberg is supposed to be there. i think it's next weekend . >> is that what you're talking about? >> yeah. >> okay. all right. and annie who had been from west bury wanted to fly the atlantic and ended up financing, understand with flight that apeople ya earhart took as as. jeer. the designer of chamberlain and lavigne's plane. he was married to a woman from oklahoma ha, nebraska, and her sister myrtle brown came out wanting to be an art student new york, and, you know, she sat around the substantial while this was going on and decided she was going to be a flier, and she decided during the period she was going also going to be the first woman to make it across the atlantic.
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she decided this when she didn't have a license, she didn't have a plane, she didn't have a bagger. but she did find the catholic priest from pit burg who said he would fly with her if she flow to rome. she was going to fly -- he she was going fly to rome. and she eventually -- she never made it across the flake, she moved to delaware and she became the first licensed female pilot in delaware. she also became one of only 25 female pilots to hold a commercial pilot license in the united states. and the last story i had of her was that myrtle browne kind of had the quarter from delaware to new york as, you know, -- that was her sky, and as many of these people did, her plane cooked out once and she landed
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in a field of spinach. which she came to, she knocked herself out with spinach when she came to, there was a farmer watching her. she was identified as freeholder joseph something. i could never -- get this straight but, i mean, if somebody was called a freeholder. -he like am accomplish or something? i don't know. anyway. >> in terms of the -- [inaudible conversations] >> okay. well, okay. i didn't go in to that. but this freeholder was watching her and when she came to, the first thing he said was, young lady, you ruined $100 worth of. and i'm not giving you back your plane until you pay for it. [laughter] and he didn't. he didn't give it back to her until she paid for it. so these guys are always running a foul with farmers. when chamberlain and lavigne .
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>> [inaudible] >> yeah. when chamberlain and lavigne tried to make it to we are lib they landed in a field of wheat outside of berlin in a little town. and there were some -- and they landed, and mashed a bunch of wheat up. the woman comes up and go, that's my bhoat. you mashed up my wheat. who is going to pay for my wheat? then she thought, the woman thought, there had been the kidnappers around there lately, she suddenly grew very afraid because she thought she was confronting kidnappers with a new unique way of kidnapping people. and then she only calmed down when her son's, you know, just who could speak a little bit of english, you know, explained to her these were just lost american. then they took off again, they got a little bit of -- they got a little bit of gas, and they
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flew a few more miles and they landed in a field of beets. and the -- a mayor of local town drove up and said, don't worry, it's beets come and have some beer. and they are always up against farmers. yeah. yeah. so. i guess it's kind of late. any last questions? anybody the to ask anything more? okay. we need -- [inaudible] you mentioned funker was he flying that was made by -- [inaudible] a big name in . >> there were some monoplanes around. i think that he flew the monoplanes around the time of the war. but there were no -- i know that
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-- i know that i know that a monoplane was bought by william raldolf hurst. it was considered too flimsy, he gave it away to a philadelphia department store owner. but, i mean, it department have anything to do the flight. no. it was a different -- that was a decade earlier. two decades. >> the other thing was i are are -- [inaudible] that one didn't come up. >> to. it wasn't of the ones that was planes that was used in this. he was surprised that the name didn't come up. but -- that was, you know, you know, there were a lot of bombers during world war i but they were not a plane during this time. all right. i really concentrate much more
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on personalities than i did on planes. and, you know, i knew that was my weak point when i was writing the book if i tried to pass myself off as n expert on airplanes there are million evers of people who could let me know i was barking up the wrong tree. okay. we have a question. >> [inaudible] average the . >> it was low. it was really low. he was -- one thing so you to do -- you know, he flew by sight a lot of times and deadening. this is using your compass and watch to figure out where you are. he to figure wind speed out. he was close enough he could see which way the froth was going off the top of the waves. so they had these -- they had these spools that were installed
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within the plane and a lot of time he flew about ten feet off the wave. a lot of times he had to go higher. >> [inaudible conversations] >> no. i don't think so. he might have been sometimes when he was trying to get around the clouds. on the average, he wasn't flying at that, you know, as high as some of them. anybody else? all right. okay. thank you very much. i appreciate it. [applause] [applause] >> all this week turn to c-span for live gavel to gavel coverage of democratic national convention in north carolina. this evening john kerry, vice president joe biden and the acceptance address by president obama. watch every minute every speech on c-span. here on c-span2 it's booktv
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throughout the convention with highlights from the past year. and on c-span three also throw the convention 4 hour was american history tv with lectures, oral history, and a look at historical american sights an art facts. tonight in prime time on booktv, we talk to georgetown university history professor on the recent book to the sieve war. >> it is about union for most -- it's not all but most. what, i mean, by that is that most of them enter the war convinced that the united states has to survive. it has to survive to show the world that representative in government can work. these kids were 1848 in a series of revolutions as they ever see it it failed. these were failed democratic revolutions. they see the united states this is if.
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this the world's last shot. self-government works here or it won't be tried again. so these thinks they can destroy the government which is how juneon soldiers see it. we have to prove that the thing can survive. and that's how they start. but they don't have to be in the south for very long before they begin to think, why did we get in to the fix to begin with? they talked to white southerners and slaves. they're struck by how we got in to the problem to begin with because of the constitution of slavery. if you want to solve a problem, the only way to do it is root out of the cause. so union soldiers made a shift earlier than i had anticipated big shift begin in the number of 1861 they write home to the elected officials to say if we want to win the war.
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watch the entire interview with as she discusses her book "what the cruel war was over." tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2. next satirist christopher discusses his recent novel that reinvolves around a washington lobbyiest byrd mac mac tire. he has written a number of other novels including "thank you for smoking" and supreme courtship" this is about 5 35* minutes. [applause] thank you, thank you for coming out on a lovely friday night in washington. washington is truly in the glory tonight. you probably have choices. i'd like to say hello to a very special friend charlie peters,
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ladies and gentlemen, the founding editor one of the great publication overt washington fame. i've had a great fondness nor guy for many years. thank you for honoring me by being here. [applause] >> this is indeed my fifteenth reading -- don't worry. i'm not going to read much. all right barbara -- after -- one introdestruction she started starting introdisusing me as the eel wise of politics and prose because i grew up here. but my first reading was in 1982, but i would thank you for the generous introduction. the introducing both their introductions are -- can be funny. i after -- after a couple of
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books, i started to bore of the writing the -- about the author paragraph that appears on the black flap. that's the paragraph that authors pretended they didn't write. [laughter] , you know, considered leading voice of the generation. [laughter] i didn't write that. no. no. so i just started making them up. and then i was on day ten. this is about day five, hello, douglas, my freshman college roommate is here. [laughter] but by about day ten, you're a little punchy --
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you know, there was a hierarchy of interviewers out there, and you have up here npr and c span, of course, and then down about here, you have the am strive time talk radio jocks and you're on for -- you have ninety second. you hear cars honking in the background. i was going in to do the interview, and it was boston, i think, i went this to the studio, and the host, to use a somewhat elevated term, was hunched over the "about the author" paragraph speed reading it. with beefy brow. he looked upped at me and said you were an adviser to william howard after it? i was just punchy enough, and
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said, yeah. yeah, yeah i was. and so the brow now goes in to a huge protuberance. we can talk about that? [laughter] and we did. [laughter] i have not yet been invited back on that show. but it was really well worth it. here i stand before you adviser. if any of the you have questions what it was like to work for william howard taft, i can help you with that. it is grand to be back in washington. i moved back to connecticut last year. i can no longer be accused of being an inside elitist. i'm now an i95 elitist.
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[laughter] but i -- this was -- washington -- a -- was and always will be a very special place where i came down to write speeches for george h. w. bush when he was vice president. i i -- i write satire. and [laughter] here we are at ground zero. it's -- you know, it is a satirist's sound. washington is, you know, we never really lack for characters, scoundrels, my character fictional characters tend to take of a their author. they are surround really as. my first one was a guy named knick who was a tobacco lobbyist. they made it a movie of it, and i don't know if you have seen the movie, but i want you to know, i -- if you look at the credits, you will -- it says men
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on subway platform. [laughter] there's a feel-good, and man on subway platform. there's the cleveland part about the subway platform. i urge you to -- [laughter] so in the course of twenty years, i have developed a greatly as i have gone from writing about tobacco lobbyist to defense lobbyist. it's called a literal move. but i wanted to write a book about -- a subject dear to the heart of charles peter's heart. the military industrial complex. i think some of you may are be old enough to remember president eisenhower's farewell address in 1960 when he wander us about the thing, this military industrial complex, and now we are 52 years
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later with a defense budget of $700 million which is a more than the next 14 highest spend countries combined. combined. i -- i looked it up recently. the england, england spends $26.7 billion and france spends dlrp 62.5 billion. i think they want to keep party in case they have invade each other again. the nuclear weapon. you have the 30-minute war and you are done. the m main character of the book, his name is byrd mac tire. he works for an aerospace. which seemed to me a good name. [laughter] for an aerospace giant.
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they are based in missile gap, alabama. which would seemed likely. in the book, the congress is concerned about spending. so right away you know it's fiction. [laughter] he is -- he come up with with a scary new weapons program aimed at china. but they're having a hard time getting it through the appropriation committee because, you know, china is it's tricky. we have a -- we dependent on china, in fact, there's an entitied in the book called the u.s.-china codependency counsel. who is to say there isn't one throughout? maybe they are writing about it. but, you know, we depend on china to pay our monthly mortgage. and we are in -- in one sen
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borrowing money from china in order to build weapons to protect us from china. there is -- [laughter] how do we get to that? [laughter] it reminds me a little bit of the great line yo g.i. bear's great moment someone informed him a jewish woman had been elected a mayor in dub lynn. his response is only in america. [laughter] so anyway, byrd is tasked with fullmenting antichinese sentiment. his boss tells him, byrd, it's time to put the red back in red china. and so he -- but he -- so he giews off to do his research, he can't quite figure out how to do this, so he goes to -- he goes to see a woman named angel
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temple ton. she is a tall leggy blond, minny skirt ph.d. worked at pentagon and the white house, she's -- she reminded you a certain right right-wing outrageous pundit, you would probably not be far from the mark. and she is runs a think tank and doesn't everyone in washington? someday i would like to have my own think. put fish in it. it's called the substitute for continuing conflict. [laughter] and this is the center of the so-called oreo movement. hard on the outside, soft on the inside. the outside being foreign policy and the inside -- they don't particularly care about domestic policy as long as america is involved in war. and preferably drones are okay, but hand to hand combat:
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better. as long as the oreo don't have to get their hand girl dirty. you may remember after the innovation with iraq a lot of the stepping back and saying don't blame us. the idea was perfectly sound. it was the execution. where else is suppose god quickly. byrd explains his situation to angel with, and he senses that he's in the right place because in the lobby of the icc institute for continuing conflict, is a -- at quote by barry gold water in big gold leafleters. he thinks i have come to the right place. together they perfect this program you can call it. hay plant a rumor, byrd proposes they plant rumor the chinese are
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trying to assassinate the dally llama. and because he's become convinced this is the dally lay ma is the only thing americans care about in chinese. i'll read you a paragraph. and angel is skeptical. she says what are we offering by by way of evidence? who needs evidence when you have the internet? and she's still a little skeptical. we just post it on the fiancesbook page and you expect it to lead the evening news? okay. one or two dotes to be worked out. but, you know, the -- i've done the research the dally llama is the one thing having do with china that americans actually care about. human rights? where is my ipad. global warming?
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taiwan? wasn't that some novel? , i mean, what was the last time you heard anyone we say we must to to war over china about taiwan. dolly llama, americans love this go. what's not to love? he's a 75-year-old sweety with the hugging and the peace and l harmony all that. we can't get enough of him. but and if the american public were told that the evil come mys are putting arsenic wouldn't you say it's a problem. they are going to deny it. of course they'll deny it again and again and again. they get to put out statement after statement saying we he side and gem, it's a slam deng. angel shutters and says, please
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don't use that expression. they plant that rumor and things take off from there. this was the just yak for a little bit more. this will be the first book i have written involving china. and i -- there -- there was a challenge involved -- you know, if you write novelling you have to make up the names for characters and charles dickens was pretty good at it. i -- i -- but chips names are complex. who here can receipt the full name of the blind activist who was seeking refuge in the u.s. embassy in china? deng xiaoping but even over there now, when they pull up the posters they shorten it to cgc it looks like kfc. it looks like they're promoting
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fried chicken. .. >> a lot of sun xiu quotes in here, and they are included at no extra charge. [laughter] i came across a fascinating term, actually, in a book by henry kissinger who chose a slightly less frisky title than
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mine. [laughter] if you're henry kissinger, you can just call your book "on china." [laughter] they'll buy it. i have to dance like a french poodle on mine, you know? "they eat puppies, don't they?" but sun xiu coined this interesting term called shi. it's spelled s-h-i, and it's tricky to translate, but it means roughly the art of understanding matters in flux. so there is -- and shi happens. [laughter] get it? indeed, i am -- there is a lot of shi in this book, and the author is, indeed, full of shi. [laughter] so why don't i sort of leave it there. i would tell you more about the book, but then you would, you would -- what incentive would
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you have? [laughter] and i think, mike, we should mention the new study that just came out yesterday, possibly you haven't heard of it, but a very scientific study that shows that people who pay full retail price -- [laughter] for books derive 67% more enjoyment. [laughter] it was very scientifically conducted by the authors' guild. [laughter] so anyway, full retail price, and i thank you for having me back, and i'd be happy to take such questions as you might have. about bulk purchases or -- [laughter] i will even entertain questions on the greatness of charlie peters. but only one. [applause] thank you. thank you, thank you. >> i did fail to mention, we have time for questions, but if
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you could get to this microphone since we're recording, it would help, it would help a lot. please, don't be shy. >> i could ask myself a question. [laughter] charlie, how have you been? [laughter] >> i've got a theory. >> uh-oh. >> i've always tried to -- [inaudible] what happened -- [inaudible] >> i'm sorry, what happened -- >> what happened and why to liberal republicans? >> will you just repeat it, please? >> charlie peters, founding editor of "the washington monthly" asks what has happened to liberal republicans. >> and why. >> and why. [laughter] is this a trick question? i was very saddened to see that
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richard lugar was defeated the other day. richard lugar, to me, was my kind of guy. that must sound a little weird. richard lugar was nixon's favorite mayor, do you remember? >> [inaudible] >> yeah. he was mayor of indianapolis. he was defeated in a primary, in a primary contest the other day by the candidate of the tea party. and so it seems as in france where the electorate last sunday, you know, went either -- went to the hard right and the hard left, we seem to be doing that. i was struck by the fact that the french by law their presidential elections can only last one month. it's not a perfect system, you still end up with a french president. [laughter]
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but i wondered if we might take a, take a page from the french playbook. it's, it's distressing, charlie. you know, the sensible center is , is an increasingly vacant space. um, there are many factors. i think the 24/7 news cycle has not helped. i mean, in the -- when i was growing up, you know, the evening news -- i remember the debate, there was a fierce debate in the '60s when they decided to extend the walter cronkite's 15 minutes of evening news to half an hour, and they were saying, well, what are we going to put on the next 15 minutes. but there is that sort of scorpion in the bottle element, and the moment anyone says something original or perhaps
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slightly daring, they're pounced upon -- >> that is rare. that is so rare. >> well, yeah. that's not, i guess, the main problem. [laughter] but perhaps, perhaps it will come back. but i do think these campaigns have a certain intermin ability to them, and i think that drives away some younger people who might otherwise be more, um, it's become very easy to be cynical these days. and that, and that, that is, indeed, in the terminology of the watergate era a cancer growing on the body politic. a kind of aggression's law. you know, the bad drives out the good. sorry, a bit of an incoherent answer there. but, yes. >> did you have a chance to read any chinese literature --
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[inaudible] chinese communication -- >> the question is, did i immerse myself in chinese literature? deeply. [laughter] deeply. i hour talked about that, but it's -- i would have talked about that, but it's a very sophisticated subject, and i'm not sure an audience like this would be able to keep up. [laughter] we could talk about shi some more, if you wanted. [laughter] i -- to your question, i hope that answers your question. yes, ma'am. >> following up on mr. peters' question, i'm curious since you're, you can't necessarily speak for him, but since your father was sort of the father of
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modern conservativism, what would he think of what he has wrought? and some of which he must have seen in the closing days of his life. i mean, the crudity and the lies that we see now, i wonder maybe that's not a fair question, but it does leap to mind. >> did you all hear the question? be you -- you know, i thank your your question. it's tricky trying to channel your father's ghost. hamlet tried it. [laughter] didn't end up so well. my father died in 2008, and he had, i think he, um, you know, he lived to, um, to see -- it has been said that, you know, if it had not been for, it has been
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said that if it hadn't been for bill buckley, there wouldn't have been a barry goldwater, and if there hadn't been a barry goldwater there wouldn't have been -- who was the other guy? -- reagan. he was so i think he was, you know, he lived to see history coalesce in certain ways that he launched a bit of shi, you might say, and i don't mean that nip pantly. -- flippantly. you know, the directional velocity of ideas and movement. he was asked sometime before he died what he thought of the modern, what had now become the modern conservative movement, and he answered it in a very william f. buckley way. he replied that he thought the movement was in need of
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repristineation -- [laughter] which probably sent a few people to the dictionary. um, that's -- if, i don't know if that answers your question. i miss him terribly, and i often mentally reach for the phone wanting to, you know, wanting to get his take on something. but in some ways i'm glad he's not around to see it. yes. >> um, i'm here essentially because of the book you wrote about your late parents, and i related to it a great deal. and do you not miss the times where there could be an element of complexity in one's political persona? i mean, i grew up with a father who was a registered republican. he always voted republican. he was a choold hood of the -- childhood of the depression, i think he was a fiscal republican. but socially i didn't realize there were certain things that
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were issues, i didn't realize that being gay was an issue or racial -- i mean, this was, we were taught to be tolerant. this is america, you know? he was a child of an immigrant. and so i think that the depression informed his being a republican for fiscal reasons, but at the same time he could embrace or even if he couldn't embrace, he could respect, um, i think he was very voltaire in his views. >> sounds like quite a guy. >> yes. and i miss him desperately. >> yeah, i'll bet you do. >> but i find that that is missing. we've become a nation of a lot of fundamentalists, it seems to me. and i don't think it's just me or my perception. >> i, it is surely a subject for a better mind than my own to, to address whether or not politics is nastier than it has ever
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been. i mean, i'm not sure it is. it's much more on display because every time you look up there's, you know, someone yattering on on tv about it. but, i mean, if you look back at the 1860 campaign, or if you look back at the things that were said about president lincoln in the middle of the civil war, i know -- would anyone, i put it to you, lincoln was called a baboon. and in a newspaper editorial. now, would an editorialist dare to say that about our current president? >> [inaudible] >> i suppose, yeah. [laughter] it does, we do seem to be awfully angry. and we do seem, frankly to me, to be talking about stuff that's the relatively unimportant stuff. um, we are going broke. you know, there's -- i try, i do
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try to write funny books, but there is -- this book is also about, um, the fact that, you know, we're running unsupportable deficits -- >> losing the middle class. i mean, i remember the educational, um, films they used to show us in grade school, um, that were essentially propaganda, but the one that got to me, and it was in grade school, was china, the sleeping giant. >> right. >> i mean, i had images, you know, at 8 years of age that they were going to be -- because this is in the film -- chinese climbing in our windows and taking us over, and i read the paper now and i think, you know, that's, hmm. [laughter] so i look forward to reading -- >> well, i thank you for your question. >> thank you. >> in thank you. thank you. [applause] >> i have two questions. is there any chance that boom's
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day might become a movie? i mean, just on the expensions of health care and caring for the elderly, and this one dovetailed really well to it. i can't wait to get into it. >> a number of my books are in what is called development hell. [laughter] i think any -- it takes several miracles for a book to become a movie unless the author is steven king or -- stephen king or john grisham. earnest hemingway, i think most of -- ernest hemingway, i think post of his books were made into his books, and he apparently hated every one of them, although i thought angry birdmen and gary cooper looked pretty good in that one. he absolutely despised that
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world, so he formulated hemingway's rules for writings when deals with hollywood, and it goes like this: you take the manuscript of your book, and you put it in the trunk of your car, and you drive up to the california state line, and you stop this side of california state line. you take your manuscript out of the trunk, you make them throw the money across first -- [laughter] and then you hurl your man manuscript at them and drive back east. and it's probably a pretty good rule. but i think four or five of them are -- three years ago my agent called me in great state of excitement and said, are you sitting down? i said, well, yes, yes, i am sitting down. she said, i've got the most amazing news. i said, yeah? she said, charlize theron is officially attached to florence of arabia. oh. i was sort of waiting for and,
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you know? [laughter] yeah? well, she's attached to the project. i said, well, what does that -- does that mean they've stapled her to the script? [laughter] and you will have noticed that charlene's latest -- charlize theron's latest movie was not florence of arabia. [laughter] and so the answer is, i don't know. i wish -- or as we say, as they say at state department briefings, i have nothing for you on that at this time. [laughter] >> my second question is, once you start on your project, how do you discipline yourself, and what is your writing day like? [laughter] >> people sometimes say, oh, you know, you write funny books. do you laugh as you write? and to that i say, if you were
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to walk into my study while i was writing, the sound that you are likelier to hear is a soft whimper. [laughter] or even pathetic sob. [laughter] it's, you just, you just stay at it. someone once asked anthony burgess in whose company i certainly don't put myself how it was that he managed to write two books a year. he was very prolific. and he said, well, i write a thousand words a day. and in 100 days, i have a book. it doesn't quite work that way. people have said, well, how long did your last book take? and my answer is 59 years. [laughter] which is, actually, true. anyway -- how we doing on time? >> we're good. we have time for one more if it's out there.
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come on up. >> don't be bashful. >> you said you don't laugh when you write. i read your book the last two days, and you do -- one does laugh when one reads it. >> oh, good. [laughter] >> my wife was trying to read another book at the time, and i kept interrupting her -- >> she's reading robert caro's book and saying, will you shut the -- up? [laughter] >> the temptation was possibly there but, no, she didn't. [laughter] it's not a question really. there was an author here a couple of weeks ago who said someone just told me he read my book, he couldn't put it down. he read it in one night. it took me two years to write that book, he said. [laughter] well, yes, i did read your book
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almost in one -- but from your earlier books, all of which i've read, you continue to go over them, and you see things that remind you of it. of boom's day, for one. and there are scenes from florence of arabia. in a mixed crowd, i don't think i should quote the particular scene that comes -- >> no, don't talk about that scene. [laughter] >> no not a question, just -- so not a question, just a sincere thank you very much for going through the agony of writing a funny book, because they are delightful to read. >> well, i thank you. i thought for a -- i was afraid for a moment you were going to quote a great line that mark twain said once about a book by henry james. he said once you put it down, you can't pick it up. [laughter]
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thanks very much. [applause] >> all this week turn to c-span for live gavel-to-gavel coverage of the democratic national convention in charlotte, north carolina. this evening massachusetts senator and 2004 presidential nominee john kerry, vice president joe biden and the acceptance address by president barack obama. watch every minute, every speech over on c-span. here on c-span2 it's booktv all day, every day throughout the convention with highlights of nonfiction authors and books from this past year. and on c-span3, also throughout the convention, 24 hours of american history tv with lectures, oral histories and a look at historical american sites and artifacts. >> tonight in prime time on booktv we talk to georgetown university history professor sean da manning on her recent book about the civil war. >> in the beginning the war really is about union for most northern soldiers, not all, but
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most. and what i mean by that is that most of them enter the war convinced that the united states has to survive. it has to survive to show to the world that representative government can work. these guys were kids in 1848, and a series of revolutions in 1848 in the europe as they see it failed. these were failed democratic revolutions, and so they see the united states, this is it. this is the world's last shot. self-government works here, or it will never be tried again. so these states think that they can destroy the government, which is how union soldiers see it, because they didn't like who got elected? then we have just said self-government doesn't work. so we have to prove that this thing can survive. and that's how they start. but they don't have to be the in the south very long before they given to think, hmm, why did we get into this fix to begin with? they talk to white southerners, they talk to slaves, and they're really struck by how we got into
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this problem to begin with because of this institution like slavery. and if you want to solve a problem, the only way to do it is to root out the cause. so union soldiers made a shift, much, much earlier than i had anticipated. the big shift begins in the summer of 1861 with soldiers beginning to write home to their families, but also to their elected officials to say that if we want to win this war, and if we don't want to fight it again in ten years, we need to get rid of the problem, we need to get rid of slavery, or it's going to be back, right back at square one. >> watch our entire interview with chandra manning as she discusses her book, "what this cruel war was over," tonight at 8 eastern on c-span2. >> so what i'm going to do tonight is give a little talk about how past losing presidential campaigns have shaped the 2012 election and then maybe do a little speculation on how the 2012 election might influence future political history in the united
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states. and i'm going to begin, well, i'll talk for about 20 minutes and then open up for questions, but i'm going to begin with what i think is a bold prediction which is that on november 6, 2012, there will absolutely, definitely be a winner and a loser. [laughter] but the bold prediction is this. the thing is, we may not know for several decades who was which. because sometimes it's not clear. sometimes the winner has almost no impact on american history. they become kind of nonentities, inconsequential in history, where off times the losing candidate will really change the political dynamics in a whole bunch of different ways. now let me -- before i go into how that works, let me tell you why i wrote the book. i was an unsuccessful political candidate myself. i ran for congress in wyoming in 1998, a democratic nominee in a very much republican state. i lost, and you sit there and go, wow. that was tough. i asked all my family and friends and complete strangers
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to give me time, money, their talents, and then i let them down, or at least maybe the voters let me down. i remember the famous quote, the voters have spoken, the bastards. and so you sort of think that way. [laughter] and maybe a little bit like barry goldwater after he lost in 1964. he said, you know, i still believe america's a great country when anybody can grow up to be president except me. and so you worry about that, what's happening. but you think about, did i make a difference? did i have an impact? and maybe a little congressional race in wyoming, it was minimal. the woman who won, the republican, stole a few of my ideas. but at the presidential level, obviously, there's a chance for far greater impact. and losers are very important to the system. there's a couple reasons. first of all, losers -- particularly when they behave in a certain way -- are what make democracy work. and i'm going to explain that a little bit. and often losing campaigns are
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far more dynamic and prophetic than a winning campaign. how do they make democracy work? you may have noticed on election night that the losers always get to speak first. notice how on the the networks they declare who they think they work. the one who won can't talk until the loser has given his concession speech. and that's because really even though we think we know the vote total, the fact is an election isn't over when the winner declares victory. the election's only over when the loser concedes defeat. if the loser says, i didn't lose, i was defrauded, i can't allow this guy -- he's aback coe, he can't be our prime minister, you can imagine -- be our president, you can imagine what might happen. in a lot of countries, people don't abide by the results of an election, and you see chaos, riots, and civil war. the same thing here in 2008 when we had a pretty intense presidential campaign between
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the first african-american president and the republican, john mccain. that same year in kenya they had some elections, but the losers didn't like the results in kenya, so after all the violence was done, there were 1500 people dead and a quarter million homeless. there were riots in india which is the world's largest democracy that killed 20, death in monogoal la and ghana -- mongolia and ghana and liberia. in 2007 when nick cat sarkozy was -- sarkozy was elected president of france, they had 600 cases of arson and 600 people arrested. so we're fortunate in the united states that we don't have violence around our presidential election. and a lot of that is due to the behavior of the loser, because they come out and they say i'm disappointed, but i accept the results. it's now time for our country to unify around the winner and move forward. and they have to do that because winners can only govern with the loser's consent. again, if you on the losing end and you say i refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the
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winner, how can anything get done? and i think one of the reasons i wrote the book, at least i hope one of the messages in the book is that i do worry that we're getting to a point there's so much polarization that we're going the lose this wonderful tradition. you've had, especially over the last saferl several presidencies i think starting with clinton, bush and obama, people are questioning the legitimacy of the winner. we think we're a strong democracy, but we're still a relatively young democracy, and there's no country quite so diverse as the united states in terms of ethnic groups, regional differences. so i actually believe our democracy in america is fairly fragile, so it's important we maintain these traditions to try to keep as unified, keep us understanding that the government may not be the government. we want it this year, but it's a legitimate government, and we'll let 'em govern, we'll let 'em do the basic elements of governing, and we'll try to beat 'em next time. if we ever lose that, i do
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believe we're going to see some terrible, terrible problems in our elections. i mentioned the other way that sometimes losers have more impact than winners is often i said losers are more prophetic than losers. often the losers come up with the new ideas while the winners are arguably stuck in the past. i'd argue that every one of our programs was first talked about in a losing campaign because it often seems very radical and difficult to absorb. another way that they bring in, change brings in more participants. they bring in different types of folks who maybe haven't participated in the political process before. maybe it's young, maybe it's minorities, maybe it's women. but they bring in new folks. they also change the coalition of how the parties are organized. a lot of losing campaigns were the ones that changed the party from being a liberal party to a conservative party or a conservative party to a liberal party. and the reason they do that, i think, is a couple reasons. one, first of all, underdogs
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have to be bold. most of the losers probably know they're going to lose. now, they wouldn't admit that, but political polling has become quite sophisticated. in fact, most elections are kind of foreordained by peace, prosperity and what are the demographics. so a losing campaign sometimes has to be very bold, they have to talk about issues that nobody talks about or, for example, walter mondale bringing jell dean ferraro on the campaign. we saw the movie "game change," that's what the whole thing was about. we need a game changer, otherwise we're going the lose. so they went for the wrong path and picked governor palin and, in fact, it generated a lot of excitement for a while in that campaign. and the other thing is that, you know, if you've won, you're kind of fat and happy. you think, gee, i've got a winning message, i've done very well. i don't need to change anything.